Is Russia Heading to Become the Most Conservative and Racist Country?

Published April 15th, 2021 - 06:17 GMT
human rights being violated in Russia
A woman holds a placard with an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin during protest against the detention of gay men in concentration camps in Chechnya. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Russia condemned over latest human rights violations.

By Sally Shakkour

Russia’s latest crackdown on human rights have placed it under concerns whether the country is becoming more conservative and turning into a more racist place to live in.

Imprisoned Alexi Navalny, the opposition leader of Russian president Vladimir Putin, revealed that he will file a lawsuit against his jail for banning him from possessing or reading Quran, which he intended to study while serving time outside Moscow.

The opposition leader revealed that he wasn’t only banned from getting the holy Quran to read; but jail authorities have also forbidden him from accessing all the books he brought or ordered since he was arrested in January upon returning to Moscow from Germany.

The 44-year-old, who has been under a hunger strike for about 2 weeks said: "The thing is, they're not giving me my Quran. And it pisses me off," stating that it is one of his several "self-improvement" goals.

Navalny has suffered for months after being subjected to nerve-agent poisoning where he blamed the Kremlin for the attack. However, Russia has denied those allegations.

On the other hand, Navalny is not the only thorny topic in Russia these days. Putin was slammed last week after banning gay marriages in the country and for prohibiting transgender couples from adopting children.

Sources have described Putin’s decision as disturbing for LGBTQ+ community in Russia. Following the referendum, Max Olenichev from the LGBTQ+ support group said that gay people will be ‘left behind’.

According to the Russian LGBT Network, banning same-sex marriage vote was just a path for Putin to get the public to vote for further political power. They stated they were “convinced that the main purpose of adopting a series of amendments to the constitution is to keep in power the current government and Russian President. We consider other constitutional changes artificial to gain people’s attention.”

Nevertheless, the Russian president has signed into law a bill, allowing him to hold the presidential office for 2 more terms, up-to 2036. The legislation bill has caused public anger as it restricts people’s freedom to elect a new president every 6 years.

The 68-year-old Russian leader, Putin, has already been in power for more than two decades after he was re-elected in 2012.

In fact cracking down on LGBT people is not new in Russia, people who presented their sexual orientation were subjected to forced disappearances, secret abductions, imprisonment, torture as well as extrajudicial killing by authorities, in what is known as anti-gay purges in Chechnya.

The allegations were initially reported on April, 2017 in Novaya Gazeta, which is Russian-language opposition newspaper. The allegations revealed since February 2017 over 100 men were arrested and tortured and at least three had died in an extrajudicial killing, according to Wikipedia.

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