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Activists arrested in Russia

05 May 2016

Over in Putin's Russia, police on Sunday detained more than a dozen LGBT rights advocates who were taking part in May Day marches in St. Petersburg.

Elvina Yuvakaeva, a Russian LGBT rights advocate, told the media earlier this week that a group of activists in St. Petersburg marched with another contingent in the city’s May Day parade because authorities denied their request to participate alone.

A video shows the advocates carrying a rainbow flag and chanting as they marched through a square. Several police officers and journalists then surrounded them.

Yuvakaeva told media that authorities detained around 15 of them.

“Authorities prefer meetings of neo-Nazis to opposition and peaceful LGBT manifestations,” Yuvakaeva said.

“By using different pretexts they did not confirm the route for LGBT (marchers) and did not propose an alternative option as the law requires,” she added. “At the same time they found it to be fine when the Nazi organization banned in Russia goes through the city with a ‘united Slavic people and white race’ column.”

Yuvakaeva told news reporters that LGBT rights advocates received permission to participate in a separate May Day march in Moscow.

A video shows police officers ripping rainbow flags from the activists as they marched. A series of scuffles broke out before the authorities forcibly removed them from a park.

A group of young men chanted “Moscow is not Sodom” as the officers placed the activists into awaiting police vans.

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