Irish Deputy Prime Minister urged to challenge Russia on LGBT rights at Council of Europe meeting

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste), Eamon Gilmore, has been urged by Sein Fein to raise the widespread violation of LGBT rights in Russia at this week’s meeting of the Council of Europe.

Mr Gilmore is the leader of Ireland’s Labour Party and also the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Sein Fein Foreign Affairs spokesman Seán Crowe TD said: “Council of Europe representatives will be meeting in Strasbourg this week to discuss the compliance of member states with ECHR judgements. We know that Russia’s ban on gay pride parades and their failure to honour a 2010 ruling against them on the issue is on the agenda.

“Since then Russia has intensified its persecution on LGBT citizens by passing the so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law. Violent homophobic attacks have also increased in this repressive atmosphere.

“The Tánaiste has stated the government’s complete opposition to these laws and human rights abuses, and that is to be welcomed.”

Mr Crowe added: “I am now calling on the Tánaiste to put its words into action and to work with his European counterparts to challenge Russia on these human rights abuses.

Earlier this month, Mr Gilmore said he strongly disagreed with Russia’s anti-gay laws and said he was exploring actions to be pursued with Ireland and its EU partners. 

Writing exclusively for on Monday, UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander urged Britain to use the Council of Europe as a forum to encourage Russia to respect LGBT rights in the run to the 2014 Winter Olympic.

The Games are taking place in the Russian city of Sochi in February.

Russia joined the Council of Europe in 1996.