Gay protest broken up in Moscow
Posted on May 16, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Police in Russia have broken up a protest by gay rights activists in Moscow, staged to coincide with the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Some 30 campaigners had gathered near a university in defiance of a ban on their march and many were dragged away by police when they shouted slogans.
British gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, was among those detained.
A counter-demonstration by nationalist and religious groups was allowed to go ahead elsewhere in the Russian capital.
The gay rights group had been waving flags and chanting slogans demanding equal rights and condemning the treatment of gays and lesbians in Russia.
At least 20 were arrested as police moved in to disperse the protest.
As he was being taken away by police, Mr Tatchell shouted: “This shows the Russian people are not free.”
Speaking from a police station, he later told the BBC: “The way the police violently broke up our peaceful protest is an indication of a drift toward authoritarianism that is affecting all Russians.”
The organiser of the gathering and leading campaigner, Nikolai Alexeyev, was also detained at the event, which took place in the south-west of the city.
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