Moscow’s LGBT community will once again attempt to celebrate Pride on May 31st, organiser Nicolas Alexeyev has announced.

In May 2006 and 2007 Pride marches in the city were beset by violence and police intimidation after Mayor Luzhkov refused to grant a permit.

He is on record as claiming he will never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow, and called gay people ‘Satanic.’

Yesterday an organising committee for Pride was formed.

In addition to a march, a human rights conference will be held focusing on gay rights.

In 2006 more than 120 people including a German MP were arrested during the chaotic scenes at Moscow Pride as gay campaigners from all over the world converged in the Russian capital.

They were met by religious and nationalist protesters chanting anti-gay slogans and 1000 riot police aiming to stop demonstrations in Red Square.

Last year gay rights activists were attacked by police and homophobic demonstrators as they tried to present a letter to the Mayor’s office protesting at his ban on the march.

Mr Alexeyev has vowed to hold the event in 2008 and formally started proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights concerning the Pride bans.

A 20-page application has been filed at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg regarding two separate issues: the ban by Moscow authorities of the gay pride march and the banning of the alternative Pride picket, both scheduled for May 27, 2006.

In the application, Pride organisers claim that in denying permission to stage both the march and the picket, the Russian Federation breached Article 11 (right to freedom of peaceful assembly), Article 13 (right to effective court protection) and Article 14 (discrimination ban) in conjunction with Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory.