Russian President intervenes over Moscow Pride

Tony Grew May 30, 2008
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Gay rights activists plan to hold a small Pride demonstration this Sunday in front of Moscow City Hall.
Earlier this week it was revealed that the President of Russia, Dmitriy Medvedev, phoned the Prefecture of the Central Administrative area of Moscow and told him to authorise the gay demonstration.
Pride organisers had applied for permission to hold five marches a day, every day of May.

All were rejected by Moscow municipal authorities on the grounds they would “endanger public order and cause negative reaction of the majority of the population.”

Mr Medvedev’s intervention is significant, and gay rights activist Nicloas Alexeyev claimed: “in case of breach of our constitutional rights not only Moscow but also the federal authorities will be responsible as we asked the Russian President to interfere in this situation.”
Pride marches in Moscow were banned by the city’s Mayor last year and in 2006.
While welcoming news of the President’s actions, organisers said they had no received confirmation of permission for a parade from City Hall.
“We are still hoping for the compromise decision for the conduct of our public event but in the absence of the clear position of the authorities we are forced to announce the forthcoming Sunday as the date of our event,” said Mr Alexeyev. 

“If we receive a proposal from the authorities we will be ready to change the place of the event very fast.
“The event will be conducted according to the law because the right to marches and pickets is guaranteed to us by the Russian Constitution and legislation in force.”

Applications against the ban of Moscow Pride marches in May 2006 and in May 2007 are now in the European Court of Human Rights awaiting consideration.

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