January 5, 2014
Today several Russian LGBT organizations formed a coalition and wrote an open letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, regarding Apple’s contract with “Euroset” infamously known mobile handset retailer that continues to employ Mr. Ivan Okhlobystin as their spokesman and a creative director/editor who recently suggested “burning all gays alive in furnaces.”
Euroset’s vague reaction to Mr. Okhlobystin’s statements was combined with his further comments on Twitter where he speculated that even more customers would come to Euroset stores after learning their homophobic stance since that would set people “in a good mood.” Any attempts to bring legal actions against Euroset and Mr. Okhlobystin under the current Russian law were ignored by Putin’s authorities as expected.
It seems that the only avenue left at this time is to appeal to Euroset suppliers in the Western and Asian countries and ask them to review their partnerships. At the present time Euroset gets their products from Google, Samsung and several other corporations. It has been reported that Apple is or about to enter into a contract with them as well.
Russian LGBT community is planning to approach Euroset vendors one by one and ask them to evaluate these partnerships.
The first draft of the open letter is attached below. The final version is scheduled to go out early this week. More LGBT organizations are expected to sign by Monday.
Spectrum Human Rights is joining their Russian counterparts and will sign this petition as well.
**UPDATE**: Queerussia Project, RUSA LGBT- Russian-speaking American LGBT Association (USA), Quarteera (Germany), German Aids federation (Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe) have joined the petition.