Thirty nine protesters have been arrested after two nights of violence outside a gay club in Russian capital, Moscow.
Riot police were used to control the crowds of right wing and religious activists, and most of those arrested were charged with causing a public disturbance.
Homophobic protesters hurled eggs and bottles at a gay club in Moscow forcing it to cancel what was billed as the city’s largest gay and lesbian party on Monday.
Police were forced to intervene when at least 100 skinheads, fascists nationalists and elderly Christian fundamentalists clutching Orthodox icons descended on the club.
Organisers had hoped to attract over a thousand people to the “Open Party” at the Renaissance Event Club in the south of Moscow.
The AFP news agency reported that at least one gay clubber was beaten by protesters although the police have not officially reported any injuries.
Nikolai Alexeyev, one of the organisers claimed of Moscow’s gay pride which is due to take place later this month (with or without permission) said the attack was a “mass, coordinated action aimed at intimidating Russian gays and lesbians”.
Igor Artyomov, of the Nationalist RONS party, told AFP that the demonstration was a “peaceful” protest against “sin”.
Gay campaigners are blaming Moscow’s mayor for inciting fanatics and arsonists after he has banned this year’s gay pride march.