Russia’s ruling party has expressed outrage after one of its members compared journalists to servants in an ongoing sexual harassment scandal involving the country’s parliament.
Dozens of Russian media organizations mounted a boycott of the State Duma when its ethics commission cleared deputy Leonid Slutsky of wrongdoing this week after at least five female journalists accused him of sexual harassment.
“The State Duma is the people’s highest authority. These female journalists should tuck their tails between their legs a bit,” Sibagatullin was cited as cited as saying by a Tatarstan-based news outlet.
The party distanced itself from Sibagatullin’s comments, with its senior official saying they “have nothing to do with the position of the United Russia party or of our lawmakers.”
“The position of our colleague deputy is extremely outrageous and improper,” Interfax cited Yevgeny Revenko, the party’s general council deputy secretary, as saying.
The party official defended journalists for “often selflessly serving the interests of society.”
In his remarks to Realnoevremya.ru on Thursday, Sibagatullin had blamed female journalists that complained of sexual harassment for wearing clothes that “show different parts of the body” in the Duma.
“The man will not harass a woman as long as she doesn’t want it,” he said.