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Humanists UK at UN urges Russia to uphold the rights of its LGBT and non-religious citizens

Russia must take steps to protect both freedom of expression and end the persecution of LGBT people, Humanists UK today stated  at the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

With further regard to LGBT rights, Russia’s UPR contained a particular focus on the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. Last year, Chechen authorities engaged in a violent crackdown on anyone perceived to be gay. Victims were abducted, tortured, and sometimes killed, whilst the region’s leaders denied the violence, even going so far as to deny the very existence of gay men in the region. Russia has faced international pressure to do more to investigate this persecution and to bring those responsible to justice.

Humanists UK further urged Russia to protect freedom of religion or belief. It is concerned about the use of blasphemy laws to restrict the human rights. In 2013, Russia adopted a law criminalising ‘insult to the religious feelings of believers’, a law which effectively enables the criminalisation of anyone who expresses any view opposing religion. Humanists UK urged for this law to be repealed, in order to bring Russia into line with international standards on the right to freedom of expression.


For more comment and information, please contact Humanists UK Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan on or 0207 324 3065.

Read Humanists UK’s full intervention here:

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At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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