Russian authorities blamed for gay pride violence

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The organisers of last weekend’s Moscow Gay Pride have condemned the Russian authorities for causing the violence which resulted in over 120 arrests.

Gay activists including Nikolay Alexeyev, one of the main rally planners, were arrested along with nationalists and religious protesters.

Mr Alexeyev and other gay campaigners who were arrested will attend court this week to determine their fine and are planning to appeal the ban on Moscow Pride and their arrest at the European Court of Human Rights.

Moscow Gay Pride co-organiser, Nikolai Baev, said: “The officials of Russia and Moscow are responsible for the public disorder.

“They allowed crowds of fascists to march in the centre of Moscow and they did nothing to prevent these homophobic attacks. On the contrary, all last month the Moscow authorities made homophobic statements and promoted homophobic hate, which created the preconditions for the violence we suffered.

“I know some Russian and Moscow politicians openly supported this homophobic mob, even deputies of the State Duma had declared that all gays and lesbians had to be driven off Moscow’s streets. Not one of them has been taken to task for these incitements to hate crimes.

“We demand this homophobic hysteria among Russian politicians and the media is stopped immediately. We are very pleased that some leading politicians and gay rights activists from across Europe and the USA are helping us in our struggle for freedom.

“It is scandalous that some people today have been hurt and their human rights abused. We are sure the homophobic and unconstitutional ban of Gay Pride by the Moscow Mayor led to these sad consequences. The Mayor who has denied us our rights does not have the moral authority to be the Mayor of our great city.”

The Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov said he banned the parade because the city is morally cleaner than the West, Reuters news agency reported.

He told Moscow radio, “Our way of life, our morals and our tradition, our morals are cleaner in every way. The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness.