Russia has released new road safety regulations that ban people with “sexual disorders from driving.” Among this group are transexuals and transvestites, and the AP writes this is ” ostensibly for medical reasons.”
The regulations have been criticized by human rights activists.
“The new Russian rules banning people from driving because of their gender identity are ridiculous and unlawful,” Nils Muiznieks, human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, said in a message posted Friday on Facebook. He urged Russia “to immediately amend the rules to remove this ban.”
The government resolution was signed on December 29, 2014, by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and lists certain medical conditions including people with “mental and behavioral disorders” defined by World Health Organizations that the Russian government thinks should disqualify someone from driving.
WHO is not amused: “That is certainly not the intent of WHO’s classifications,” said Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s mental health department. He said they were meant to lead to more reliable diagnosis, so “for example, when someone is diagnosed with a disease in Germany, they would get the same diagnosis in France.”
Human Rights First called the new rules an “alarming violation” of the rights of the transgender community. Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First said in a statement that the new rule “leaves the door open for increased harassment, persecution and discrimination of transgender people by Russian authorities.”