Russian actor who called for gays to be put in ovens banned from entering Latvia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Russian sitcom actor, who had previously proposed burning all gay people alive in an oven, has been banned from entering Latvia to give a one-man show about religion.

The St Petersburg Times reports Ivan Okhlobystin was banned from entering the country on Friday over anti-gay comments.

He was due to give his show about religion in Riga on November 7.

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics initially tweeted Friday night that he would issue the entry ban due to statements which he assessed “as ethnic hatred.”

In a follow-up tweet he clarified he was referring to Okhlobystin’s claim last year about putting gay people in ovens.

“I’d put them all alive in the oven … it’s a living danger to my children,” he was quoted to have said in December, going on to rant about “gay fascism”, and, calling gay people “faggots” and a “physical anomaly”, saying they should be stripped of voting rights.

In January, he wrote an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, urging him to restore a Soviet-era law banning homosexuality.

Last week he also said that some victims of the Ebola virus were turning into zombies, explaining that he had heard of many cases in which those who died from the virus mysteriously came back to life several days later. He added he “was not joking” and said he had purchased a crossbow “just in case.”

Responding to Rinkevic’s decision, a number of Latvian politicans endorsed the ban.

However, Riga’s mayor Nils Usakovs said he felt “very ashamed” for the Foreign Minister.

A federal bill banning gay “propaganda” was signed into law by President Putin last year.

It prescribes fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18 – ranging from 4,000 roubles (£78) for an individual to 1m roubles (£19,620) for organisations.