In an open letter posted on his website Fry invokes the spectre of the Berlin Olympics of 1936, highlighting a law that Hitler invoked two years later persecuting the jews, before suggesting that “[Vladamir] Putin is repeating this insane crime, on this time against LGBT Russians.”

A law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” was recently passed in the Duma with 436 votes to 0. The law imposes large fines against anyone speaking in defence of gay people or gay rights, or even equating gay relationships with heterosexual ones.

“Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law,” writers Fry.

“Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment.”

“It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their 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 has pushed through the Duma.”

Fry calls for “an absolute ban” on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi saying that the Russian leader can’t be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.

The polymath goes on to quote the IOC’s Olympic Charter including point six in the Mission and Role section:

“Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement.”

Russian politicians have said that the country’s laws could not be suspended during the competition and gay athletes would be subject to arrest should they contravene them.

Fry compiles a formidable case for action and personally urges David Cameron to continue his stance on LGBT rights.

“You showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights.

“Please act on that instinct now.”

Image via Getty