Winter Olympics 2014

Freedom is only the first battle for Pussy Riot’s Yekaterina Samutsevich. The Russian punk pioneer, radical artist and gay
Sporting boycotts has been effectively used in the past. The refusal to allow apartheid South Africa to participate in international sporting events was effective in showing international disgust against the de Klerk regime.
While Sochi 2014 is the immediate concern it is simply the latest charade in an ever growing list of erroneous decisions by sporting committees where the human rights record, inherent poverty and endemic discrimination of a nation have been flagrantly ignored.
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. He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing.