The U.S. State Department on Friday
issued a travel alert to Americans traveling to Russia to attend next
month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“The Department of State alerts U.S.
citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia that
they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all
times,” the alert states.
The alert mentions the threat of
terrorism and reminds gay Americans about Russia's recently enacted
law which prohibits the promotion of “gay propaganda.”
“Acts of terrorism, including
bombings and hostage takings, continue to occur in Russia,
particularly in the North Caucasus region. … In July 2013, Doku
Umarov, the head of the Caucasus Emirate (an organization the United
States designated as a terrorist organization in 2010, and known in
Russia as the Imirat Kavkaz or IK) released a video message
rescinding prior directions not to attack civilians and calling for
attacks on the Winter Olympics in Sochi.”
The alert also warns that foreign
citizens found guilty of violating the nation's anti-gay law face up
to 14 days in jail and steep fines.
“Russian authorities have indicated a
broad interpretation of what constitutes 'LGBT propaganda,' and
provided vague guidance as to which actions will be interpreted by
authorities as 'LGBT propaganda.”
the full travel alert.)