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04/19/2007


Mo Sochi Mo Problems: VIDEO

Mosochi

A must-watch mash-up of Sochi ills from DJ Steve Porter.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Here's Video of Bisexual Gold Medalist Speedskater Ireen Wüst 'Cuddling' Vladimir Putin: WATCH

Putin_wust

Yesterday, activist group Queer Nation came down hard on Dutch gold medalist speedskater Ireen Wüst after she gave an interview to Dutch media and expressed excitement about "cuddling" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Said Wüst:

"I got a cuddle from him. He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him."

Wrote Queer Nation's Duncan Osborne in a press release:

“The Olympic athletes have said that they will not make political statements during the Games yet that is exactly what Ireen Wust did. By embracing Vladimir Putin, a man who has trampled on the human rights of LGBT Russians, political dissidents, artists, undocumented immigrants, and others in Russia, Wust has endorsed his fascist agenda....LGBT Russians and political dissidents are showing us what courage and commitment look like. Embracing Vladimir Putin is a betrayal of that courage and commitment. Wust should be ashamed of herself. Every athlete in Sochi should understand that the whole world is watching. We cannot make the athletes show the sort of courage that LGBT Russians display, but we will not be silent and we will not forget if the athletes embrace Putin.”

Now, video has emerged of Wüst's 'cuddle' with the Russian leader.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Queer Nation Denounces Bisexual Olympic Gold Medalist Ireen Wüst for 'Cuddling' Putin

Yesterday we reported that Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst, who is bisexual, won gold at the Sochi Games and afterward "cuddled" with Putin, according to Dutch media reports.

I-wustMembers of the activist group Queer Nation are condemning Wüst.

Via press relase:

“The Olympic athletes have said that they will not make political statements during the Games yet that is exactly what Ireen Wust did,” said Duncan Osborne, a member of Queer Nation. “By embracing Vladimir Putin, a man who has trampled on the human rights of LGBT Russians, political dissidents, artists, undocumented immigrants, and others in Russia, Wust has endorsed his fascist agenda.”

Citing a report from Dutch television network NOS, ABC News reported on February 10 that Wust met Putin at a party in her honor after she won gold in the 3,000 meter event on February 9.

"I got a cuddle from him," said Wust, who has been identified in published reports as an out lesbian, according to ABC News. "He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speed skater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him."

As the Olympics opened in Russia, over 60 activists, including LGBT activists, were arrested in several Russian cities while protesting over a number of issues.

“LGBT Russians and political dissidents are showing us what courage and commitment look like,” said Osborne. “Embracing Vladimir Putin is a betrayal of that courage and commitment. Wust should be ashamed of herself. Every athlete in Sochi should understand that the whole world is watching. We cannot make the athletes show the sort of courage that LGBT Russians display, but we will not be silent and we will not forget if the athletes embrace Putin.”


Over 200 Well-Known Authors Publish Open Letter Calling for End to Russia’s Anti-gay Laws

Saying that Russia’s anti-gay laws “strangle free speech,” a group of over 200 prominent authors from across the globe have written an open letter to Vladimir Putin urging repeal.

The letter, signed by Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Carol Ann Duffy, Jonathan Franzen and others, is a part of PEN International’s newly launched Out in the Cold campaign to raise awareness of threats to free expression around the globe.

Sochi-Campaign21Read the letter, in full:

The story of modern Russia is the story of dramatic, almost seismic change. Russian voices, both literary and journalistic, have always striven to make themselves heard above the clamour of their nation's unfolding story – commenting on it, shaping it and, in doing so, contributing to the political and intellectual shape of the world far beyond their country's borders.

But during the last 18 months, Russian lawmakers have passed a number of laws that place a chokehold on the right to express oneself freely in Russia. As writers and artists, we cannot stand quietly by as we watch our fellow writers and journalists pressed into silence or risking prosecution and often drastic punishment for the mere act of communicating their thoughts.

Three of these laws specifically put writers at risk: the so-called gay "propaganda" and "blasphemy" laws, prohibiting the "promotion" of homosexuality and "religious insult" respectively, and the recriminalisation of defamation.

A healthy democracy must hear the independent voices of all its citizens; the global community needs to hear, and be enriched by, the diversity of Russian opinion.

We therefore urge the Russian authorities to repeal these laws that strangle free speech, to recognise Russia's obligations under the international covenant on civil and political rights to respect freedom of opinion, expression and belief – including the right not to believe – and to commit itself to creating an environment in which all citizens can experience the benefit of the free exchange of opinion.

To see the full list of signatories, click HERE


It's Vladimir Putin's Facebook 'Look Back' Video: WATCH

Facebook_putin

Since we know you've been enjoying looking at everyone's 10-year 'Look Back' videos on Facebook, why don't we have a look at Vladimir Putin's.

No doubt there are some memorable moments in store.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Pussy Riot Gives Amazing Interview to Stephen Colbert About Russia's Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO

Pussyriot_colbert

Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, the members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot who were freed from prison in December, appeared on The Colbert Report, to talk about their intent to improve prison conditions worldwide and fight against human rights abuses.

Colbert grilled them about their detention, warning them that he was a friend of Vladimir Putin's. They also had a lengthy discussion about Russia's anti-gay laws and showed off their excellent sense of humor.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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