GayRussia and its Russian partners are pleased to inform you that the campaign, which the organization launched in the last days - thanks to all the letters and faxes you submitted to the UN - already paid off!
In the 21st century, the world can still be moved with faxes, stamps and envelopes!
GayRussia has been informed today by the Human Rights Committee's secretariat at the UN that the case of Irina Fedotova who is challenging her arrest for "propaganda of homosexuality to minors" in Ryazan, against Russia will be considered during the Committee's July 2012 session in Geneva. In accordance with the Rules of the Committee there will be no public hearing.
This is going to be a major step in Eastern Europe especially in the light of the recent attempt by St. Petersburg's Parliament to pass a similar law than in Ryazan where Irina Fedotova was arrested and charged. This is also going to be a major response to all other countries (Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia) and Russian regions which have been discussing similar bills and in particular to the region of Arkhangelsk which enforced a similar law last month.
Although the decisions of the UN are not legally binding (this is a difference with those of the European Court of Human Rights), they carry an important and symbolical value.
If we win, it will also be the first time that Russia is officially defeated at the UN over an LGBT issue. It will also be a precedent for the future cases at Human Rights Committee.
Some of you might know Irina Fedotova as she is one of our long standing activists, but she is also the first Russian to challenge, together with her wife, Russia's ban on same-sex marriage at the European Court. The couple was able to officially register their marriage in Toronto in October 2009 but were denied to do it in Moscow. Their marriage was GayRussia's 2009 campaign.
"We would like to express our deepest thanks and gratitude to all those who supported our campaign, asking the UN's Human Rights Committee to consider the case of Irina Fedotova," said Nikolai Bayev, acting head of GayRussia.
"The fight continues, we hope the European Court of Human Rights to follow the UN and open a similar case of Nikolai Bayev v. Russia as this is technically the only way to reverse the decision of the Russian Constitutional Court which held the ban of homosexual propaganda to minors constitutional", said Nikolai Alekseev, Founder of GayRussia.
GayRussia's campaign against laws prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality was launched in 2009 and followed a duel tactic: several public actions to publicize the issue and raise awareness in Russia and around the world, and a legal challenge through Russian Courts and International Courts to get a decision which will result in reversing these laws.
Once again, many thanks to the international organizations who associated with this campaign, IDAHO Committee, Kaleidoscope Trust, Gay Liberation Network, Outrage! and the Peter Tatchell Foundation, and also to our media partners who relayed the campaign,UkGayNews.org .uk, Yagg.com, Queer.de, Gay City News, and Gay.by.
Gay Rights. No Compromise.