LONDON, United Kingdom — British Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that the UK will not be boycotting the Winter Olympics in Russia, in a response to a call by UK celebrity Stephen Fry to do so.
In a series of two tweets, Cameron added that he shares Fry’s “deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.”
“However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics,” stated the Prime Minister.
Russia’s antigay law banning so-called homosexual propaganda has come under strong worldwide critique for violating basic freedoms and various international treaties on human rights.
Earlier this week, Fry wrote an open letter to Cameron, urging the minister to intervene in the situation in Russia. Fry said that Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, “is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it.”
“An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on 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 civilized world,” he added.
“I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below,” said Fry.
Several prominent gay athletes and commentators have welcomed Fry’s move, but disagreed with the idea of a boycott.