Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Israel or the United States? No. The preferred destination for “civil rights tourism” remains Russia.


June 28th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– l’Antidiplomatico – – translated by Frederick Assar –

The script is repeated. Two days ago, five Italian activists were arrested and released after a few hours by Russian police. The group was led by Flavio Romani, Arcigay national president, and comprised members of the Antigone and Good-Law Associations. They were in Nizhny Novgorod, in the Volga region, for a meeting sponsored by the “Man and Law” NGO for a project monitoring the conditions in prisons.

Over the course of the evening, the news bounced on  press agencies and on social media. The chorus of condemnation against Kremlin’s “homophobic repression” began on a timely basis. The Italian Consulate and the Farnesina (Italian Foreign Ministry – translator’s note) were activated. Many alarmed voices were raised, including Nicola Fratoianni’s , Italian Left secretary.

However neither homophobia nor the controversial law on gay propaganda among minors has anything to do with this. According to the Nizhny Novgorod police, the reason for the detention would be the delegation’s entry visas irregularity. None of the five were charged with any crime of opinion. As ‘Repubblica’ admits, “everyone was granted freedom of communication and was treated in a respectful way”. “They’ve all been very kind” said at the time of release group member Valentina Calderone. “They explained that the visa in our possession were invalid and we were fined 2,000 rubles per head”. That is about 20 euros.

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The story of the five is, at first sight, different from those that have involved Vladimir Luxuria and Yuri Guaiana. The former was stopped during the Sochi Olympics, after protesting against the law on propaganda among minors. The latter recently went to Moscow to hand over a petition on “extermination camps for homosexuals in Chechnya”.

Fake news, the latter, also denied by Gayrussia – one of the most important local LGBT organizations. In any case, even yesterday’s arrest demonstrates that “political tourism” by Italian civil rights activists in Russian territory continues uninterruptedly. Indeed, we could say that Russia is the only and obligatory destination for such trips. And that Putin, whose caricatures are a must in every Italian Gay Pride rally, continues to be seen as the number one enemy by the majority, liberal, and philosophical-imperialist component of the movement.

All along, the homophobic governments of the world, such as the gay-beheading petromanarchies of the Persian Gulf, the floggers in Indonesia, or the 12 US federal states where “sodomy” is still a crime, are being left undisturbed. We still look forward to seeing them in the priority agenda of our intermittent rights paladins.

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