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Russian Police Arrest Gay Rights Activists

Russian Police Arrest Gay Rights Activists


After hosting an unapproved gay pride demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia, 14 LGBT activists were attacked by antigay protesters and then jailed by Russian police, along with some of their alleged assailants.

The demonstration took place beside a monument to city founder Peter the Great, according to Yuri Gavrikov, head of the Equality group, "because Peter the Great founded a city with European values."

Among those taken into custody was Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's most high-profile gay rights activist and the founder of the GayRussia website, who tweeted from the police station that there are "14 lgbt activists in police station. Two were beaten, Alexey Kiselev by police inside station and Alexander Sheremetyev by homophobe [sic]."

Alexeyev added that while those arrested would most likely end up in court, "We will not surrender!"

If found guilty, the activists could face up to 15 days in prison.

"I've seen a lot of things in six years of holding such events in Moscow, but I've never seen such cynicism in St. Petersburg," the AP quotes Alexeyev as saying.

Read more here.

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