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Dutch FM: Gays in Russia not prosecuted, don’t need asylum in Netherlands

Published time: November 10, 2013 18:32
Edited time: November 10, 2013 19:29
AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda

AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda

Gays in Russia are not prosecuted and, thus, there are no grounds to grant them asylum in the Netherlands, the Dutch foreign minister said in an attempt to clarify a previous statement perceived as an offer of asylum to Russian homosexuals.

Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said his previous statement was misinterpreted.

Earlier this week, Timmermans sent a letter to his country's parliament, in which he was reported as stating that Russia's law banning homosexual "propaganda" that could be viewed by minors was a violation of human rights and that individuals facing persecution under that law should be considered as asylum cases in the Netherlands.

However, on Sunday he disavowed the statement.

“First of all, I’ve never said this,” Timmermans told RIA Novosti in an interview. "I answered... parliamentary questions in the written form. And in my answer I said in general terms, it didn't pertain to Russia specifically, that if homosexuals are prosecuted, they are in a position to ask for asylum in the Netherlands," he explained. 

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

Foreign Minister Timmermans pointed out that as of today, LGBT activists in Russia “are not being prosecuted”. He then added that his written briefing to the parliament “was a generic answer to a generic question”.

Timmermans thanked the media for what he said was “an opportunity to clarify” the situation, once again stressing that his statement was not “directed at Russia”.

The so-called anti-gay propaganda law was enacted on June 30, when it was signed by President Vladimir Putin. It’s an amendment to the law “On protecting children from information harmful to their health and development”. The legislation caused outrage in Russia and abroad with protesters claiming that the law is a crackdown and discrimination against LBGT activists. Supporters insisted the law was not about punishing people for being homosexual, but rather to keep minors from being influenced by non-traditional sexual relationship propaganda.

Comments (10)


Pete Anderson 11.11.2013 20:07

A European court has now said Gay Africans have a right to seek Asylum in Europe.


George Rizk 11.11.2013 15:22

We have activists who would like smaller government? They are called conservative TEA PARTY members. The government and the media target them! Are they calling for asylum? Are they nailing their balls to the street! NGO operating in many countries to subvert them from within by paying deviants to act up.


eslaporte 11.11.2013 02:35

Yasuyuki Tateishi 11.11.2013 02:25

The Russian law about homosexuality is not against homosexuality but its intention is the protection of the underaged from propaganda or actions to seduce them to homosexual behaviours. In many countries, such propaganda or actions are prohibited.


Ag reed! And a country has a right to it's own laws without interference. Here in the US one cannot give sexual materials to children, and that includes all types of sexual materials. It's called Child enticement.
When children grow up and become adults, they can decide for themselves what materials to read!

View all comments (10)
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