Moscow Gay Pride Not a Priority of the European Court of Human Rights

Organisers says they will keep intensifying pressure over the Council of Europe

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Photo: Nicolas Alexeyev

MOSCOW, March 28, 2009 (GayRussia.ru) – The Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has told organisers of Moscow Gay Pride the court’s President of the Chamber has decided not to give priority to their cases, some of which have been waiting for more than two years.

The Russian activists asked the Court last month to give a priority treatment to their application against Russia in the light of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Moscow Pride bans.

To date, the Russian activists have appealed the ban of 167 banned gay marches at the European Court.

“If no action is taken, the Moscow Pride bans will take five to six years to be overturned by the European Court,” said chief Pride organisers Nikolai Alekseev.

“Whether though the Court or via the Committee of Ministers, a solution, has to be found in Strasbourg,” he added.

“We are in contact with several diplomacies.”

In a similar case around the ban of the Warsaw Pride in Poland, the European Court gave a decision within 18 months of receiving the application.

Over the last months, the organisers have intensified pressure on the Council of Europe, asking the organisation to make Russia respect freedom of assembly for the LGBT community.

Last month in Strasbourg, activists from Russia and Belarus were joined by 50 local activists , they held a protest in Strasbourg demanding that the European Court and the Council of Europe speed up the matter.

“Council of Europe officials write wonderful letters to Russian authorities about the necessity to respect the rights of LGBT people,” said Moscow Pride co-organiser Nikolai Baev.

“But year after year we see the same violence, the same aggressions and the same breach of human rights.”

Earlier this month, 22 members of the European Parliament asked the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to help find a solution in resolving this issue over this year’s Gay Pride in Moscow, scheduled to take place on May 16.

Also last month, the US State Department in Washington DC criticised Russia for breeches of human rights of gay men and women in its annual Human Rights Report.

May 16 is during the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) weekend – and is on the day of the ‘uber-gay’ Eurovision Song Contest, which is being staged in the Russian capital and beamed live across Europe, and beyond.

Moscow Pride is this year a joint project of Russian and Belarusian gay groups and is officially “Slavic Pride”.

Full Post on Gay Russia

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