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‘You will be cuffed!’ safety video focuses on Russia

August 1, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A rather jolly in-flight safety video for Putin Airlines has been produced to highlight Russia’s anti-gay laws.

It can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoC-LWdbggU

Putin Airlines doesn’t actually exist, but the Gay Women Channel went ahead and made the video anyway, aiming it at travellers flying to Sochi, a resort area on the Black Sea in Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Tickets to the games are already on sale.

The video may be jokey, but it has a serious theme as Russia’s new laws on homosexuality, which took force last June – apparently apply also to foreign tourists.

The laws do not ban homosexuality but outlaw its promotion to minors.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) notes in its advisory: “Homosexuality is legal in Russia, but some sectors of the population still strongly disapprove of it. Promoting homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors is illegal in some parts of Russia, including St. Petersburg. These laws may affect public expression and assemblies on such issues.”

Four Dutch tourists were arrested last week under the new Russian laws, America’s Huffington Post reports, accused of spreading information about homosexuals to children. The four were visiting the city of Murmansk, reportedly to make a documentary about the city’s gay community, when they were arrested and jailed by police under the new law.

The provision against “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, carries the threat of steep fines and allows pro-gay foreigners to be detained for up to two weeks and deported.

Discretion will avoid problems but “gay-affirmative” speech, displaying rainbow flags, or kissing and holding hands with same-sex partners in public could be courting trouble.

The video starts by welcoming Sochi-bound passengers aboard the aircraft and asks everyone to buckle up and to keep trays in the upright position.

Then it goes on, taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to the new laws.

Written by : Peter Needham

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