Stephen Fry, the broadcaster, has called for an “absolute ban” on the Russian Winter Olympics, warning that the country’s persecution of gay people would stain the Olympic movement forever.
In an open letter to David Cameron and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fry likened President Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric” discrimination of LGBT Russians to Hitler’s treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
He urged the IOC to be brave enough to “take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent” and to stage the Games elsewhere.
“An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential,” he wrote.
“Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
“He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it.”
New laws in Russia have made it illegal to provide information about homosexuality to people under 18.
Last week, Vitaly Milonov, one of the politicians behind the bill, suggested that gay athletes and supporters at the Winter Games could face arrest.
Fry accused Putin of repeating Hitler’s “insane crime” of persecuting a minority.
“The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country,” he wrote.
“For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.
“I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do.”
In a direct appeal to Mr Cameron, he said he had the “utmost respect” for the way he had pushed through gay marriage legislation and urged him to act on his instinct.
Last month, the IOC said it would “work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media”.
It said: “To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”
A Government spokeswoman said “great concerns” about the growing restrictions on LGBT freedoms in Russia had been repeatedly raised and that the Prime Minister had outlined his concerns with President Putin during a meeting in Downing Street in June.
“We are working closely with the IOC and the BOA to ensure that the Games take place in the spirit of the Olympic Charter and are free from discrimination,” she said.
From Smash Cultural Marxism – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=501797933229624&set=a.214021388673948.51152.213566995386054&type=1&theater