Gay Pride Event in St. Petersburg. Field of Mars, 29 June 2013
Gay Star News
All participants in St Petersburg gay pride arrested for marching
LGBT activists in Russia confirm that police have arrested about 60 participants in today’s gay pride parade for violating the country’s anti-gay laws, while some were beaten and suffered injuries
29 June 2013 | By Jean Paul Zapata, Dan Littauer
All the participants in today’s St Petersburg gay pride parade have been arrested and are being detained in police vans.
Some participants were badly beaten by anti-gay protestors.
Nikolai Alekseev, one of Russia’s most prominent LGBT activists who was arrested last month for organizing a gay rights march, confirmed with GSN that around 60 fellow activists and pro-gay supporters are now in police custody.
Several people also were badly beaten by anti-gay protestors who attacked the partcipants, with some suffering injuries.
Alekseev, who was not arrested since he was standing outside the fenced area of St Petersburg pride, managed to tell GSN that participants were detained for breaching Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ bill that passed Russia’s upper house in parliament to days ago.
Five Russian gay couples, who yesterday in a historical legal move applied for marriage licenses, were also taking part in today’s march and are now under police custody. The chair of St. Petersburg Pride and Equality organization Yury Gavrikov and his partner Maksim were one of the couples arrested.
Dimitry Chunosov, who along with his partner partcipated in yesterday’s application for marriage license, was reported to have been beaten up by the anti-gate protestors.
Gavrikov, who knew he was likely to face arrest for organizing today’s gay pride march, could face double penalties as an LGBT individual and leader of an LGBT organization who breached the local and federal Russia’s gay gag laws.
Both laws have been passed in order to ‘protect minors’ from so called ‘homosexual propaganda’ by punishing offenders with fines and jail sentences.
The Petersburg law bans the ‘propaganda’ among minors of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality, and makes the offense – which has never clearly been defined by lawmakers – punishable by a fine of 5,000 rubles (US$157) for individuals, 50,000 rubles (US$1,570) for officials and 250,000-500,000 rubles (US$7,854-US$15,710) for companies.
According to the Federal law, any media or gay rights organization could be fined up to one million rubles ($30.8k, €23.2k) and shut down for 90 days, individuals could be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($3k, €2.3k) and foreigners could be fined the same amount, held in jail for 15 days and deported.
Sources in St Petersburg indicate that the individuals arrested today may be detained for up to two days.
Watch a video of St Petersburg Pride (in Russian):
Thanks to Roman for the heads-up on the first two videos.