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Rediff.com  » Sports » Actor Fry demands homophobic Russia be stripped of 2014 Winter Games

Actor Fry demands homophobic Russia be stripped of 2014 Winter Games

August 08, 2013 15:24 IST

With growing concerns over the new anti-gay laws in Russia and the abusive treatment against its people from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, English actor, journalist and activist has written an open letter to the IOC asking for the 2014 Winter Games to be banned.

Stephen FryIn the letter that was also circulated to Fry's 2 million Twitter followers, Fry said Russian President Vladimir Putin was 'making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews' during the staging of the 1936 Berlin Games in Nazi Germany.

Fry said: "An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 in Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs, Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world."

"Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law."

In the letter, which was also addressed to London 2012 CEO Sebastian Coe, Fry wrote: "The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country.

"For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory."

The 2014 Winter Olympics is scheduled for next February. But the growing backlash against the new laws, passed this year, has now escalated into calls for the IOC to strip Russia of the Games. The US is contemplating to boycott them.

Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images