The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe have published further decisions in respect of their supervision of the execution of the judgment in Alekseyev v Russia.
At their 1208th "DH" meeting on 25 September 2014, the Deputies 'expressed serious concern' that the majority of requests made to hold gay pride events in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kostroma and Arkhangelsk between 1 July 2013 and 1 May 2014 have been refused in light of the law prohibiting “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.
The Deputies further noted 'with great regret' that, in light of the extremely low number of events authorised, that the 'exercise of the important right to assembly is not sufficiently recognised and protected by the Russian authorities'.
What is deeply worrying about the Deputies' decisions is that they appear to have shelved further consideration of the non-compliance with the Alekseyev judgment to June 2015. Between now and June 2015 the Deputies urge the Russian authorities to take action to ensure that gay and lesbian public events are not hindered by the 'propaganda' law, including by way of 'awareness-raising'.
By June 2015 the Alekseyev judgment will be nearly five years old. In that time, Russia has enacted Federal law that effectively increases the ability of public authorities to restrict the public expression and assembly of sexual minorities. And the European Court of Human Rights has failed to consider and deliver judgment in respect of pending applications that complain that the propaganda laws violate Convention rights.
Sexual minorities in Russia might justifiably look to the Council of Europe, its Court of Human Rights, and its Committee of Ministers and ask: what are you doing to address the ongoing and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation?
The Decisions can be read in full here: