Russian asylum seekers can include anti-gay rules in their case: minister

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans is prepared to offer asylum to Russians who are discriminated against under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda legislation.

The new law makes it a criminal offence to hold public events or spread information about homosexuality to minors. Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 but homophobia remains strong, AP said earlier this year.

The law affects lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

In a written briefing to parliament, Timmermans said: ‘This law contributes to a homophobic climate and has an intimidating effect on LGBT people and sympathisers.’

He wants the situation in Russia taken into account in any asylum procedure for Russian gays. ‘Inhuman treatment must be taken as a serious violation of human rights and must be considered in asylum cases. This can include anti-gay laws but also discrimination by Russian authorities and nationals,’ the minister wrote.

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