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Stephen Fry writes to U.K. Prime Minister over Russian Olympics

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Aug 07, 2013 | 8:22am EDT

British actor Stephen Fry has written an open letter to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to enforce a boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Russia. The funnyman is concerned about gay rights issues in the country and believes the 2014 games in Sochi should be moved to another location to protect athletes and send a message of protest to Russian authorities over their treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. It is currently illegal to promote homosexuality in Russia, and Fry is convinced this goes against the spirit of the Olympics, so he has written to U.K. leader Cameron and members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging them to take action. The letter, posted on Fry's official website, states, "It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their (Olympic) village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin (Russian president Vladimir Putin) has pushed through... "Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural... An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world." Fry goes on to compare Russian Winter Games to the controversial 1938 Berlin Olympics in Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, adding, "I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian 'correctively' raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself." Fry's letter proved so popular, his website crashed within minutes of the upload, while a number of fellow celebrities have thrown their support behind the actor. Mia Farrow posted a link to Fry's letter on her Twitter.com page, along with the message, "Stage the Olympics elsewhere," while Billy Bragg and Matt Lucas have also backed Fry's campaign.

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