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Russian Police Detain 25 LGBTQ Activists in St. Petersburg


After a request to hold a parade was denied, demonstrators held a protest.

Russian police have detained 25 LGBTQ activists.

The protesters held a demonstration in St. Petersburg's Palace Square, after a request to hold a parade was denied, reports Reuters.

Waving rainbow flags in defiance of Russia's "gay propaganda" ban -- which prohibits public LGBTQ demonstrations -- protestors were dragged onto a bus by authorities. No violence occurred.

Last month, British activist Peter Tatchell was detained in Moscow on the first day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, for speaking out against the Eastern European nation's inaction toward human rights abuses in Chechnya, a region of Russia.

Since last year, at least 200 gay and bisexual men may have been detained and as many as 26 killed in Chechen concentration camps, according to reports from LGBT groups and the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Russia has faced international criticism for its inaction and outright denial that such crimes have taken place.

It is not illegal to be gay in Russia, but homophobia has been on the rise in the past several years. A recent poll from the Levada Center found that 83 percent of Russians, regardless of age, think gay sex is "always reprehensible" or "almost always reprehensible."

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