Toronto Diary
1 min

Russia bugs meeting of LGBT activists, uses audio in anti-gay propaganda

As the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi creep ever closer, the Russian government is apparently doubling down on its anti-gay sentiments, having reportedly spied on a meeting of LGBT activists and international human rights organizations in the country. The government then proceeded to use the recordings it secretly obtained in a program aired on one of Russia's state-owned television channels.

According to BuzzFeed, the program was reportedly an anti-gay propaganda piece, denouncing LGBT people as "foreign agents." It also claimed that they were a "threat to Russia" and that they were attempting to invade the country.

As BuzzFeed further notes, "this was the first time activists were aware that authorities had actively spied on strategy meetings organized in private," which would imply that Russia is now going beyond public displays of pro-LGBT sentiment and is actively monitoring people in private settings.

So far, members of the International Olympic Committee have refused to comment on Russa's spying and anti-gay propaganda program, saying that they are still "gathering information."

Considering that LGBT athletes and supporters from around the world will soon be arriving in Sochi for the Olympics, it remains to be seen how this will affect travellers to the country during the Games, although the implications of this are rather morbid and horrifying to think about.