2014-01-10 11:54:00

Rights defenders say Okhlobystin's idea to put gays in prison is obscurantist, odious

Moscow, January 10, Interfax - Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alexeyeva has criticized the idea of actor and Euroset creative director and Orthodox priest Ivan Okhlobystin to restore the "sodomy" article in the Russian Penal Code.

"That looks like obscurantism," Alexeyeva told Interfax on Friday.

"Why are they so keen on this subject? I cannot understand that; doesn't the country have other problems? I think Okhlobystin realizes that his idea cannot be implemented in the 21st century," the Moscow Helsinki Group leader said.

"This is an outrageous and odious proposal. Most probably, Mr. Okhlobystin does not believe in this possibility himself. That would have been a comeback to the Soviet era," deputy head of the Human Rights Watch Moscow bureau Tatiana Lokshina told Interfax.

"The ban on homosexuality propaganda, which exists in the Russian law, is unacceptable, discriminative and out of synch with the constitution," Lokshina said.

Okhlobystin posted an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter on January 7 to urge the restoration of Article 121 "sodomy" of the Russian Penal Code.