Update: 12:50 13/08/13 It has become clear that Dmitriy Kiselyov has had no involvement in the Koktebel Jazz Festival for several years, and the festival has confirmed that it does not share his views.
Footage has emerged of a Russian State-run television host who is seen saying that gay people should not be allowed to donate sperm or blood, and that their hearts should not even be used, as they are “unfit for extending anyone’s life”.
The footage has been available on YouTube since it aired in April 2012, but has come to light in the context of an international outcry against recently passed Russian anti-gay laws.
The host of the aptly named Historical Progress programme, Dmitriy Kiselyov, speaks on the prime-time show which aired on Rossiya-1. He has since been promoted to host News of the Week.
In the clip he says: “I think that to fine gays for the propaganda of homosexuality among teenagers is not enough. They should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts—in case of a car accident—should be buried or burned as unfit for extending anyone’s life.”
Kiselyov also founded the annual Koktebel Jazz Festival, which has been run since 2003 every September. Five British jazz groups are scheduled to perform this year, including Patrick Wolf, who is openly gay.
Others scheduled to perform include Bonobo live, Submotion Orchestra, British Sea Power and Red Snapper. Other groups from Norway, France and Italy are also scheduled to perform at the festival.
British Sea Power has tweeted to say it had been assured by the festival that Kiselyov currently has no involvement in the festival, and that it does not share his views. The band said: “We’ve been assured by Koktebel & British Council that he’s not been involved for 7 years& the festival doesn’t support his views.”
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and one which enables organisations receiving funding from abroad to be fined as “foreign agents”, were also passed.
On Wednesday, author and television presenter Stephen Fry wrote an open letter to David Cameron, International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge and Lord Coe, urging for the 2014 Winter Olympics to not take place in Sochi.
In a statement, the IOC said it “respected Mr Fry’s opinion” and the committee was clear that “sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation”.
Speaking at a protest in London on Saturday against the anti-gay laws, Mr Fry told PinkNews that greater pressure needs to be placed on Russia regarding its position on LGBT rights and he’s urging people to “mock” President Vladimir Putin.
A UK Government source also said that they anticipated the issue of homophobic oppression in Russia would be raised at the G20 Heads of Government meeting.
With international interest on the LGBT situation in Russia at an unprecedented level – on Thursday PinkNews published a collection of the most shocking LGBT stories to have come from the country in the past seven years.
Russian partially state-funded news channel RT recently aired a special report on foreign perceptions of recently passed anti-gay laws, which appeared to suggest that the majority of Russian support the laws, and calls US reports on the issue “warped”.