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President Putin Vows Sochi Games to Be Held 'Without Discrimination'

Published: January 17, 2014 (Issue # 1793)



  • Despite signing into law a bill forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to minors, President Putin has vowed there will be no discrimination at the coming Sochi Games.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

With three weeks to go until the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin vowed the Games would be held without any discrimination against athletes and visitors.

In June, Putin signed into law a bill forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to minors, sparking months of controversy ahead of the February 7-23 event in Sochi.

While the laws proponents argue it is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences, critics allege the move restricts freedom of speech and is part of a broader crackdown on Russias gay community.

The Games will be held in complete compliance with the Olympic Charter, without any discrimination on the basis of any characteristic, Putin said.

The Olympic Charter 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.

Putin has previously said that Russia will do everything to ensure a warm welcome for Sochi guests regardless of sexual orientation.

Russia's Interior Ministry, which controls the police, has vowed to enforce the controversial anti-gay law at the Olympics. There will also be tight restrictions on protests, which are confined to a park in a small town that lies more than 12 kilometers from any Olympic venues.

Implementing the protest zone also complies with the Olympic charter, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said last week.

U.S. President Barack Obama will not attend the Games, and his nomination of two gay former athletes to America's Olympic delegation has been widely interpreted as a comment on the Russian law.

See also:

Putin Offers Assurances on Gay Rights at Sochi Olympics

Sochi Asks IOC to Help Stop Gay Law 'Speculation





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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