Exclusivity doesn’t just pertain to the elite competitors of the Sochi Games 2014. In the wake of Putin’s new anti-gay legislation, two new events have proven the Russian government has continued to back slide its values into the dark ages.
Pussy Riots Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich are being held since yesterday on suspicion of theft. They were set to perform at the Sochi Games Sunday- a new song titled “Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Motherland,” a social commentary about the current political oppression in Russia.
Simultaneously, the International Olympics Committee defended the removal of a transgender gay rights activist from an Olympic Arena, arguing she was “peacefully escorted, but not detained.” Former MP Vladimir Luxuria, dressed in rainbow insignia was taken away by four unidentified security guards as she attempted to enter an arena for a woman’s hockey game on Monday evening. The IOC and its National associations have made it clear to both spectators and competitors they are not to use the Games to make “political points,” and Russian officials have designated an official “protest zone,” roughly seven miles from any Olympic venues. Anyone who wanted to voice his dissent over anti-gay laws, the treatment of migrant workers who constructed the Olympic venues or environmental concerns would be free to do it in the protest area.
Officials designated “Khosta” as the protest area, which has been ignored for the early part of the Games. On the day of the opening ceremony, Anastasia Smirnova and three other Russian LGBT activists were arrested in St. Petersburg after they attempted to photograph themselves with a banner that read: “Any form of discrimination is incompatible with the Olympics.”
According to Olympic.org, the purpose of the Games is to “link sport with culture and education; promote the practice of sport and the joy found in effort; help to build a better world through sport practised in a spirit of peace, excellence, friendship and respect.” Russia became the subject of international criticism following the signing of a law by Vladimir Putin in June 2013, which bans the distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Mass media classified the legislation as being “anti-gay”, while LGBT rights activists considered the law to be too broad and vague, characterizing it as an effective ban on most forms of LGBT culture. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin argued that even kissing a same-sex partner or displaying LGBT symbols such as the rainbow flag could be illegal under the law. The legislation was also attributed to an increase in homophobic violence in Russia by anti-gay and Neo-Nazi groups. The law is completely inconsistent with principle six of the Olympic Charter, which states that “any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Russia, you are in the wrong time, wrong agenda, wrong policies, wrong morality.