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London, January 15: Sir Ian McKellen has written an open letter, along with 27 Nobel laureates, to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to change the controversial law banning "homosexual propaganda".

The letter, devised by chemist Sir Harry Kroto and the 74-year-old English actor and signed by leading figures including novelist JM Coetzee indicates that many senior members of the international scientific community shows solidarity with politicians, artists, sports people and many others who have already expressed their abhorrence for the Russian law against its gay citizens, the BBC reported.

The letter given to The Independent mentions that protest is never easy but the hope is that by expressing opposition to the new legislation it might be possible to encourage the Russian state to embrace the 21st century humanitarian, political and inclusive democratic principles which Mikhail Gorbachev worked so hard to achieve.

'The Lord of the Rings' star revealed last month that he turned down offers to appear at Russian film festivals after the UK Foreign Office advised him not to speak openly about his sexuality in the country.

He signed the letter as Henry V/Gandalf. (ANI)

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