Dan Choi, Andy Thayer, France’s Louis-George Tin and more than three dozen of gay rights activists have been arrested after they tried to hold a gay march in Moscow.
The Associated Press reports:
Moscow police arrested more than 30 people trying to hold two unauthorized gay-rights demonstrations in the capital on Saturday.
Opponents of gay rights scuffled with the demonstrators and with police. A police spokesman, Maxim Kolosvetov, told Russian news agencies that 18 gay activists and 14 opponents were arrested.
Moscow authorities routinely ban gay rights demonstrations. Although homosexuality was decriminalized in post-Soviet Russia, anti-gay sentiment is high and authorities justify the bans on the grounds of trying to prevent fights.
Activists tried to hold a demonstration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin and later outside the mayor’s office.
Three prominent gay rights activists, Americans Dan Choi and Andy Thayer, and France’s Louis-George Tin, were among those detained.
“We have been asking for the last six years to gather. We are being deprived of a very simple right that is taken for granted in democratic countries,” Nikolai Alexeyev, Head of Gay Russia, chief organizer of the Moscow Gay Pride Parade told CNN.
Alexeyev said as soon as activists took out their banners and flags, dozens of members of an ultra-Orthodox group attacked the activists.
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