RUSSIA: Gay Activists Roughed Up At Protest Outside DUMA
Via press release from the Russia LGBT Network:
In Moscow 20 activists from Russian LGBT network and Equality March gathered for a series of one-man pickets with banners "We are against article 6.13.1", "For freedom of views and believes, against totalitarian law" and other. The pickets took place from 9:00 till 11:00 near the Russian State Duma building. And although at the same time the pickets of so called Orthodox activists took place nearby, there were no one arrested.Brave, brave people.
At 12:00 LGBT activists approached the Duma to hold a "Propaganda of love" protest act involving couples kissing in front of the Duma building (homosexual as well as heterosexual ones). In several minutes the Orthodox activists started to throw eggs at the LGBT activists, some of aggressive men attacked the couples. The police arrested 18 people around 12:30. Among them were 11 participants, 5 Orthodox activists and 2 journalists. All arrested were handed into a prison truck, where they were kept for more than two hours without being informed about the reason of their arrest. Now they are still in the police station.
UPDATE: Gay Star News has more.
Nikolai Alekseev of Gay Russia told Gay Star News: ‘There was about 15 people there. They were picketing the entrance to the Duma with placards and they decided to make this kissing protest in front of the entrance. There were about four or five couples, male and female, kissing. ‘Then this radical Orthodox activist attacked them physically and with eggs. It was quite violent. It was really like the Middle Ages I would say.’
Video footage shows them being hit with eggs and pushed. One couple is shoved to the ground and a bearded anti-gay protestor is seen brandishing a camera tripod at them. Police bundle away the lesbian, gay and bisexual campaigners but Alekseev said officers were ‘very reluctant’ to arrest the radicals who were attacking them. One of those arrested was the well-known journalist of ‘Novaya Gazeta’ Elena Kostyuchenko who initiated the protest. GSN does not know if any of the LGBT campaigners arrested have been charged.