Russian LGBT activist detained for peaceful protest
A Russian LGBT activist has been detained after he peacefully protested near Vladimir Putin’s official quarters.
Ildar Dadin was reading the constitution of Russia near in Red Square with 11 other activists when he was reportedly arrested by police on Friday.
Dadin was recently released from prison, where he said he was tortured, after he was arrested under strict protest laws in the country in 2015.
Human rights watch groups believe that 35-year-old activist is still in custody.
It is unclear whether he will face charges over the protest that took place close to the Kremlin.
“A policeman approached us and warned us that if we don’t leave, they will detain us,” Dadin told TASS news agency.
“Ten minutes later police detained us.”
Those who violate protest laws in the country more than twice in 180 days can face a prison sentence of up to five years.
Dadin was one of the first to be convicted under this law, which was enacted in 2014, after he staged a number of silent street protests without permission from the authorities.
As well as protesting for LGBT rights, the pro-democracy activist has been involved in anti-war and anti-government protests.
The group of activists, who were working with the Russian LGBT Network, Avaaz and change.org, were detained by police immediately.
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The group had over two million signatures in support of stopping the mistreatment of gay men in the region of Chechnya.
Journalists at Novaya Gazeta, who have since been forced into hiding, exposed that authorities were detaining and killing hundreds of gay men, as well as forcing them into concentrations style camps.
However, the Russian Embassy in Israel said an investigation had taken place and found nothing, and that reports of a purge were being used as “a propaganda campaign against Russia”.
A number of heart-breaking stories from the region have been shared, including stories of parents of gay people who were issued a warning to kill their children before police killed them in torture camps.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the region, denied any wrong doing but pledged to “eliminate” the gay community in Chechnya by the start of Ramadan, which begins on May 26.