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Russia: Heated clashes see pro and anti-gay activists arrested in Moscow01:05

Russia: Heated clashes see pro and anti-gay activists arrested in Moscow

Russian Federation, Moscow
May 25, 2013 at 15:22 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia: Heated clashes see pro and anti-gay activists arrested in Moscow

Around 30 pro-gay campaigners and their opponents were detained by police on Saturday at Moscow's Gorky Park during an unsanctioned pro-gay rally, in which pro and anti-gay demonstrators clashed in scuffles involving pepper spray. Additionally, attempts by gay activists to hold consecutive solitary pickets led to several activists being detained.

Pro-gay campaigners attempted to unfurl banners denouncing the anti-gay legislation backed by the Kremlin in front of Moscow's City Hall, but they were met by anti-gay protesters wearing Cossack hats and carrying Christian icons and crosses. In January, the Lower House of Parliament voted to pass a bill that would make sharing information to minors about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender communities finable up to 500,000 roubles ($16,000, €12,400).

Gay rights activists have been attempting to obtain permits to hold rallies in Moscow since 2006.

The pro-gay activists had originally wanted to hold a gay parade on Saturday and a gay rights rally on Monday, but Moscow authorities denied their requests. Their request to meet in Sokolniki park was rejected by the park administration, who said that farewell celebrations for newly graduated former students were occupying the park on both days.

Meanwhile in Ukraine's capital Kiev on Saturday, around 50 pro-gay activists held a gay pride rally for around 30 minutes while police protected them from a 400-person crowd of opponents.

Russia: Heated clashes see pro and anti-gay activists arrested in Moscow01:05
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Russia: Heated clashes see pro and anti-gay activists arrested in Moscow

Around 30 pro-gay campaigners and their opponents were detained by police on Saturday at Moscow's Gorky Park during an unsanctioned pro-gay rally, in which pro and anti-gay demonstrators clashed in scuffles involving pepper spray. Additionally, attempts by gay activists to hold consecutive solitary pickets led to several activists being detained.

Pro-gay campaigners attempted to unfurl banners denouncing the anti-gay legislation backed by the Kremlin in front of Moscow's City Hall, but they were met by anti-gay protesters wearing Cossack hats and carrying Christian icons and crosses. In January, the Lower House of Parliament voted to pass a bill that would make sharing information to minors about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender communities finable up to 500,000 roubles ($16,000, €12,400).

Gay rights activists have been attempting to obtain permits to hold rallies in Moscow since 2006.

The pro-gay activists had originally wanted to hold a gay parade on Saturday and a gay rights rally on Monday, but Moscow authorities denied their requests. Their request to meet in Sokolniki park was rejected by the park administration, who said that farewell celebrations for newly graduated former students were occupying the park on both days.

Meanwhile in Ukraine's capital Kiev on Saturday, around 50 pro-gay activists held a gay pride rally for around 30 minutes while police protected them from a 400-person crowd of opponents.