Suspect arrested on suspicion of attacking LGBT+ activists at St. Petersburg Pride
A man has been arrested on suspicion of attacking LGBT+ activists at St. Petersburg Pride.
15 activists and journalists were attacked with pepper spray at the Pride celebration which took place earlier this month.
The 19-year-old suspect was detained and placed on travel restrictions, according to the Russian Interior Ministry’s branch for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
Activists say that several men attacked them using pepper spray.
The arrest comes after Russian lawmakers called for an investigation to be made into the attack.
Boris Vishneysky was one of seven lawmakers who wrote to the police chief of St. Petersburg urging for a full investigation into an attack that happened during the Pride parade.
Those who were targeted said that some police officers were close by when the men set upon them but failed to interfere.
An estimated 100 people turned out for the eighth annual LGBT Pride in St. Petersburg’s Field of Mars, making it the biggest Pride since 2010.
Holding Pride celebrations in Russia is increasingly difficult since the introduction of the “gay propaganda law” in 2013.
The controversial law, which has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, can carry a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($8,000 USD).
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Anna Grabetskaya is facing 10 days in a detention centre as police said that she ignored their warnings after she was given “10 minutes to cease her unlawful actions”.
The Russian LGBTI network said in a video which captured the moment she was arrested, Grabetskaya “made only a few steps and did not resist the arrest.”
She was detained for disobedience of police orders and violation of the procedure for conducting a public event.
In a statement posted on the Russian LGBT Network’s Facebook page, the activist group said that Grabetskaya’s possessions including her phone were taken from her when she was detained.
There is no official information regarding the court hearing or what is happening to Grabetskaya.
However, her wife, Maria Kozlovskaya, believes that she is being detained for 10 days.