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Demonstration against anti-gay law during Putin visit

COC Netherlands is organizing a demonstration against Russia's anti-gay law on Monday evening, April 8. The event will take place on the Oosterdok in Amsterdam, next to museum NEMO. The location is within sight of the Maritime Museum, where Russian President Putin is dining at the time.

The COC is calling on protesters to dress in one of the colors of the rainbow, the international symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Use of the rainbow flag threatens to become punishable if Russia's anti-gay law is passed.


Participants in the protest will gather from 18:00 on Amsterdam's Oosterdok, a 5-minute walk from Central Station. The program will begin at 19:00. On stage, Russian LGBT activists, among others, will speak about the situation in their country.
 
Participants can register starting today at www.stopdeantihomowet.nl. Earlier, some 1,500 interested people registered via Facebook. Organizers of various initiatives against the anti-gay law (including Koud welkom voor Putin, The Dutch LGBT Support! and COC) joined forces for the action on the Oosterdok.   
 
The COC is also organizing actions at other locations that Putin will visit on April 8.
 
"This bill is a serious violation of human rights and threatens to make the lives of LGBT people in Russia impossible, "said COC president Tanja Ineke. "We call on heterosexuals and LGBT people to come to Amsterdam on April 8 to make it clear together that the law must be taken off the table." 
 
The anti-gay law threatens to silence LGBT people in Russia. LGBT people who stand up for their rights could be penalized, education about homosexuality will become impossible, and displaying the rainbow flag could lead to heavy fines.
 
The Russian parliament is expected to make a final decision on the anti-gay law in June. A first version of the proposal was passed in January. Similar legislation is already in effect at the local level in several Russian regions. There, a rise in violence against LGBT people is noticeable.
 
Opponents of the anti-gay law can express their anger about it now by signing COC's petition in partnership with Change.org - see Change.org/antihomowetrusland.com. The petition will be handed over during Putin's visit.

For all information on Putin's actions against Russia's anti-gay law, see our DOSSIER RUSSIA.

[Source: COC NL - Photo Rainbow Flag: Benson Kua]

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