LAST MINUTE: 40 Arrested as Moscow Anti-Riot Police Use Violence to Break up Slavic Pride March – Pride Organisers Call on Performers to Boycott Eurovision
Moscow – 16th May
Sources from Moscow have reported that police have used violent and oppressive tactics to break up the peaceful Slavic Pride march in the city.
The march had been outlawed by Moscow city authorities, but permission had been given for counter-demonstrations by far right ultra-nationalists.
Between 35 and 40 Russian LGBT activists have been arrested, including British human rights activist Peter Tatchell and Chicago LGBT activist Andy Thayer. Pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev was held down by 5 fully armed riot police and arrested.
European Embassy diplomats witnessed the violence are said to be planning a joint diplomatic action.
Slavic Pride organisers have called on the artists and performers of Eurovision to boycott tonight’s showpiece event in solidarity with the beaten and arrested protesters.
Organiser Nikolai Alekseev said:
“I call upon all of the artists who are due to perform at tonight’s Eurovision to boycott tonight’s event and send a message that Russia’s state oppression of human rights is not acceptable.
“The Russian Government is using this years Eurovision in Moscow as a gala showpiece to show the world how far the country has improved since the early 1990’s. However, what was witnessed this afternoon on the streets of Moscow shows the world just how little Russia has travelled when it comes to supporting fundamental human rights.
“The police brutality that we witnessed here this afternoon is shocking. We planned a peaceful march to highlight the dire state of LGBT rights in Russia today. The police, given violent legitimacy by the openly homophobic Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, did not hold back with their weapons, despite the world’s media watching.
“We were defending the often violated human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Russians. We demand the same legal protection against discrimination and hate crimes that none LGBT people enjoy.
“This episode has shamed the Russian Government and Moscow authorities before the world.”
UPDATE 13:26 (Paris):
Xsenia is arrested together with 31 other activists. Russian and Belarusian have been put in different cells.
One activist has already been sent to the Court to be judged.
UPDATE Sunday 12:30 (Moscow):
All activists detained by the police at yesterday’s Slavic Gay Pride have been released.
13:30: Slovenia, the country which is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (which Russia is a member of), is expressing concern over the violent break up of the Slavic Gay Pride parade in Moscow on Saturday, the Slovenia news agency STA is reporting.
Slovenia took over the chairmanship just five days ago.
More informations UK Gay News:
- Threats Mount Against Gay Pride in Moscow by Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network
- Slavic Pride Update From the LGBT Moscow Wires – Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov Refuses to Speak to Organisers – Police Attempted to Arrest Nikolai Alekseev
- Slavic Pride: Tatchell Allowed Into Russia – Moscow Mayor – Gay Activists Seek Meeting – Dialogue Urged to Resolve Dispute Over Gay Parade
- Gay Pride in Moscow: Report from Andy Thayer, a Chicago Activist
- Slavic Pride: We Don’t Want Moscow to Become Sodom Said Nikolai Dovydenko, Leader of the United Orthodox Youth
- Russian Lesbian Couple, Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko, Denied Marriage License
- Slavic Pride: UK Foreign Office Revises Guidance for Gay Travellers in Moscow
- Peter Tatchell Risks Moscow Gay Pride – Undeterred by Threat of Arrests and Bashings
- Moscow Ban of the Slavic Pride: Dutch Singer Gordon Threatens to Boycott the Eurovision Song Contest
- UN Human Rights Committee Gives Russia 6 Months to Justify Gay Picket Ban in Moscow
- Russia: Moscow Mayor Allows Anti Gay Pride Action but Bans Slavic Pride
- Russia: Lesbians to Attempt First Gay Marriage in Russia
- Russian Gay Activists Unveil Plans for Their Slavic Pride on Eurovision