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Moscow Police Break Up Gay Pride Rally

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: Za Mei 16, 2009 11:33 
   Onderwerp: Moscow Police Break Up Gay Pride Rally
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Riot police in Moscow have reportedly used violent tactics to break up a gay pride rally being held ahead of tonight's Eurovision song
contest in the Russian capital.

Police detain Russian gay rights leader Alexeyev at unsanctioned gay rights protest in Moscow

Some 20 activists were arrested and dragged into a waiting police bus.

City authorities had banned the protest, saying it was morally wrong, and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov has previously described homosexuality
as "satanic".

A group of around 30 activists defied the warnings, and congregated near a university to wave flags and chant slogans including "homophobia
is a disgrace of this country".

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is among those who were detained at the Slavic Gay Pride event.

Gay Rights Rally Smashed

"There is no freedom for gays in Russia," Mr Tatchell is said to have shouted as police bundled him away.

"We call on President (Dmitry) Medvedev to meet with us."

Also arrested was Nikolai Alexeyev, a Russian gay rights leader who was walking with a person wearing women's clothes, whom he described as
a friend.

Police said they were arresting him for walking with a transvestite.

Mr Tatchell wrote online: "Arrested. Shortest march I've ever been on.

"Well that didn't take long. Within 5mn 20 activists arrested by riot police in front of world's media, including organiser Nikolai
Alekseev."

The detentions come as Moscow prepares to hold the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Russia's hosting of Eurovision has drawn attention to gay rights in the nation, with some singers threatening to boycott the event if the
gay pride parade was not allowed to happen.
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