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Russian police detain 30 LGBT activists over Pride rally

Around 60 LGBT activists gathered in St. Petersburg after their request for a Pride parade was denied.

2018-08-05

Russian police detained around 30 LGBT activists in St. Petersburg yesterday (August 4) for taking part in an unsanctioned rally. 

A group of 60 campaigners had assembled in Palace Square after their request for a Pride parade in the city was denied by local authorities. 

According to Reuters, organisers had said they would stage one-man protests to demand freedom of association. However, Russian police quickly moved in, detaining any campaigners waving rainbow flags or placards and dragging them into a police bus. Reports suggest no violence occurred. 

Aleksei Nazarov, one of the campaigners who helped organised the rally, revealed that 30 people had been arrested and that he had been held in one of the police vehicles. He added: "Everyone else has been taken to a police station."

Sobi, another activist who was at the rally, told Euronews: "I am very tired of the discrimination and the thought that I'm not allowed to walk out and say I feel bad about it. My country doesn't want to hear that I feel bad, it doesn't care." 

In 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of "gay propaganda". Then, during the country's Presidential election, an advert warned people that they would have to live with a gay person if they failed to vote.