(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – A handcuffed Russian ballerina braved the freezing weather in Moscow yesterday as Amnesty International activists delivered a petition of 330,000 signatures urging President Vladimir Putin to repeal repressive legislation in the country.
The signatures were collected in 112 countries as part of Amnesty International's global campaign ahead of the Winter Olympic Games on February 7, 2014.
In 2012, the Russian government made a public commitment to adhere to the Olympic principles of non-discrimination, equality, inclusion, respect and mutual understanding and to promote human rights during the Winter Olympics and beyond.
However, a number of laws brought in by the Russian authorities since then do exactly the opposite. There has been a crackdown on freedom of speech and expression, interference with the work of independent civil society leading to closure of NGOs and open discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.