Thursday, 1 August 2013

It Is Not Just Gay People Who Need To Be Worried In Russia

Let us be frank. Russia has not just overnight turned into a monstrously evil state. It has been that way for a long time. Though they are understandable, calls to boycott Russian goods and next year's Winter Olympics over LGBT rights abuses can seem somewhat selfish and hollow when you consider what else Russia has been up to.

Press freedom has been severely curtailed for years, perhaps it never stopped after the end of the Soviet Union. Though Reporters Without Borders expressed concern over Russia's own Great Firewall of Cameron, we aren't just talking about some censorship here and there. The list of journalists killed throughout the Russian Federation is absolutely terrifying. The abject failure of Russian authorities to take the problem seriously speaks volumes about their dedication to free speech. (That is without speculating over who may be behind the murders of reporters....). The effect on the rest of the press has been chilling.

In the run up to the Olympics forced evictions and migrant worker abuses have given more than enough food for thought for those contemplating a boycott. And if you think those are "serious" enough, then take a look at how Russia has been conducting it's wars in and around Chechnya (although don't think I'm siding with the other side there, a pox on both their houses).

And these abuses aren't just left in Russia. Just look at what happened to Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Russia has been squeezing her people ever since it emerged from the Soviet Union 20 odd years ago. And that grip is getting tighter and tighter. The abuses of LGBT people by both the Government and civilians are horrendous. But they are just one facet of the evils being committed there by the Government, on behalf of the Government and backed by powerful special interests in both business and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Don't just stand up for the LGBT people of Russia. Spread the word of the crimes against all the Russian people. But I don't think a boycott of vodka and/or the Olympics is quite enough to get the message over to the Russian Government.

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