Template of support letter in the case of Bayev v. Russia with the European Court of Human Rights

You can use this template for writing your support letter to the European Court of Human Rights. Your letter will be filed in the case and the more letters are received, the more chances we have that the Court will understand the importance to open the case in priority. The stamp you will buy to send this letter has a chance to make an important precedent and put an end to anti-gay laws in Eastern Europe. We kindly ask you to inform us by email media(at)gayrussia.eu upon sending your letter.

You can also ask your local parliamentarian, deputy, senator, city counselor, local human rights and/or LGBT NGOs to do the same.

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The Registrar

European Court of Human Rights

F-67075 STRASBOURG CEDEX

France

Fax: 0033 3 88 41 27 30

By POST and/or FAX (choose)

(Add the date)

Re: Request for priority treatment, application no. 67667/09 Bayev v. Russia

Dear President of the Chamber,

I refer to the application no. 67667/09 introduced with the European Court of Human Rights in November 2009 by Nikolay Bayev. The application concerned a violation of the right to freedom of expression by the laws of Ryazanskaya Oblast in Russia prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors which were used against the applicant in administrative procedures in March 2009.

On 28 September 2011 parliament of another Russian region – Arkhangelskaya Oblast – passed a similar law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors. This law came into force in October 2011.

On 16 November 2011 St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly passed in its first reading a law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality, lesbianism, transsexuality and pedophilia and introducing fines for such actions. The law is expected to come into force in December 2011. Discussion of St. Petersburg law provoked intensive debates in the Russian media and society. According to its authors it will be used to ban any public events of sexual minorities in the city.

On 16 November 2011 Speaker of Moscow City Duma Vladimir Platonov said in the interview that the law banning propaganda of homosexuality to minors will definitely be passed in Moscow. The next day he was supported by other local parliamentarians who said they are working on such a law to be introduced in Moscow City Duma.

On 17 November Speaker of Russian Upper Chamber of Parliament Valentina Matvienko supported introduction of a similar law on federal level. 

Recent developments concerning the laws prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors were condemned by leading human rights activists in Russia – Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Lev Ponomarev, Alexander Brod. Initiative to prohibit propaganda of homosexuality in St. Petersburg was condemned by the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, Amnesty International, IDAHO Committee and ILGA-Europe.

All the above mentioned clearly threatens the fundamental human rights of LGBT people in Russia, including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Moreover it violates Article 14 of the European Convention prohibiting discrimination.

The case of the applicant pending before the Court is of big significance for the development of jurisprudence in the field of LGBT human rights in Council of Europe member states. Earlier attempts to introduce similar laws were taken on national level in Lithuania. The proposals were rejected only after the interference from the European Union. Currently a similar bill prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality is being discussed in Ukraine. It has already been condemned by the Council of Europe General Secretary, Mr. Thorbjorn Jagland.

The applicant respectfully asks the Court to communicated the case of Bayev v. Russia to the Government in order to prevent future human rights violations of LGBT people in Russia en masse.

Given the importance of the case the applicant respectfully asks the Court to give priority treatment to the above application in accordance with Rule 41 of the Rules of Court.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

(your signature)

(your address in order to receive a reply)

******

Template of support letter in the case of Fedotova v. Russia with the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee

You can use this template for writing your support letter to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. Your letter will be filed in the case and the more letters are received, the more chances we have that the Committee will understand the importance to open the case in priority. The stamp you will buy to send this letter has a chance to make an important precedent and put an end to anti-gay laws in Eastern Europe and worldwide. We kindly ask you to inform us by email media(at)gayrussia.eu upon sending your letter.

You can also ask your local parliamentarian, deputy, senator, city counselor, local human rights and/or LGBT NGOs to do the same.

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The Director

Human Rights Treaties Division

High Commissioner for Human Rights

Palais Wilson

52 rue des Paquis

CH-1201 Geneva

Switzerland

By POST

(Add the date) 

Re: Request for priority treatment, Communication No. 1932/2010 filed by Ms. Irina Fedotova with the Human Rights Committee

Dear Mr. Director,

I refer to the Communication No. 1932/2010 introduced with the Human Rights Committee on 10 February 2010. The communication concerned a violation of the right to freedom of expression by the laws of Ryazan Oblast in Russia prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality to minors”. The laws were used to punish the applicant in administrative proceedings in March 2009.

Given the importance of the case the applicant respectfully asks the Committee to give priority treatment to the above application in accordance with Rules of procedure of the Human Rights Committee. When considering the present request, the applicant wishes the Committee to take account of the following.

On 28 September 2011 parliament of another Russian region – the Arkhangelsk Oblast – passed similar law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors. This law came into force in October 2011.

On 16 November 2011 the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly adopted in its first reading a law prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality, lesbianism, transsexuality and pedophilia” and introducing fines for such actions. Discussion of the St. Petersburg draft law provoked intensive debates in the Russian media and society. According to its authors it will be used to ban any public events of sexual minorities in the city.

On 16 November 2011 Speaker of Moscow City Duma Vladimir Platonov said in the interview that the law banning propaganda of homosexuality to minors will definitely be passed in Moscow. The next day he was supported by other local parliamentarians who said they are working on such a law to be introduced in Moscow City Duma.

On 17 November Speaker of Russian Upper Chamber of Parliament Valentina Matvienko supported introduction of a similar law on federal level. The same views were expressed by the Governor of Ryazan Oblast Oleg Kovalev.

Recent developments concerning the laws prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors were condemned by leading human rights activists in Russia – Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Lev Ponomarev, Alexander Brod. Initiative to prohibit propaganda of homosexuality in St. Petersburg was condemned by the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, Amnesty International, IDAHO Committee and ILGA-Europe.

All the mentioned above clearly threatens the fundamental human rights of LGBT people in Russia, including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

The case of the applicant pending before the Committee is of big significance for the development of jurisprudence in the field of LGBT human rights in UN member states. Earlier attempts to introduce similar laws were taken on national level in Lithuania. The proposals were rejected only after the interference from the European Union. Currently a similar bill prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality is being discussed in Ukraine. It has already been condemned by the Council of Europe General Secretary, Mr. Thorbjorn Jagland.

The applicant respectfully asks the Committee to consider the case of Irina Fedotova on merits in order to prevent future human rights violations of LGBT people in Russia en masse.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

(your signature)

(your address in order to receive a reply)

TODAY IN HISTORY

May 27

Russia decriminalized male homosexuality

In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree which repealed the law forbidding male homosexuality. Starting from 2006, Russian gay rights activists started to celebrate this date by attempting to organize an annual gay rights march known as Moscow Gay Pride. The first edition was banned and marred with violence. It was reffered as the first Russian Stonewall.

May 17

Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

This day was founded in 2004 by French Academic Louis-Georges Tin to mark the anniversary of the declassification of homosexuality from the list of disease by the World Health Organization. Russian LGBT have been celebrating this day every year since 2005 under the leadership of Project GayRussia which was itself founded on May 17, 2005. GayRussia is Russia's coordinator of IDAHO.

May 15

Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk

Following Moscow in May 2009, Minsk was the second capital to host the Slavic Gay Pride. The March was banned and marred with violence but it did not prevent two dozens of Pride organizers from Moscow, Minsk and St. Petersburg to march over 300 meters waiving a 10meters long rainbow flag. 11 participants including some of the organizers were brutally arrested by police forces.

May 12

Lesbian same-sex couple attempt to register marriage in Moscow

2009 marked the launch of GayRussia's campaign for the opening of same-sex union of gays and lesbians in Russia. While the Constitutional Court already expressd the opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, activists believe that the lack of partnership or marriage for gay couples is a strong point to impose legislative changes via a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

April 11

Victory for Russian LGBT activists at the European Court of Human Rights

The five-judge panel of the Grand Chamber of the Court rejected the appeal of the Russian Federation in the Moscow Pride Ban case. The decision given on October 21 is final. By repeatedly banning Gay Pride Marches as well as other LGBT themed public action, Russia breached the European Convention on Human Rights.