Moscow Pride ban challenged in human rights court

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The organisers of the banned Moscow Pride have sent an application to the European Court of Human Rights claiming the ban breached their rights and seeking compensation of 1 million euros.

Documents were sent to the court in Strasbourg today.

The organisers are asking the European Court to judge that by banning the march and the pickets in support for tolerance and respect for the rights and freedoms of homosexual people in Russia the authorities breached:

Article 11 (right to freedom of assembly)

Article 13 (right to effective legal protection) and

Article 14 (discrimination ban) of the European Convention ratified by Russian Federation.

The application to Strasbourg contains detailed legal explanations of the unlawfulness of public Pride events bans as well as information which proves the discriminative nature of the Pride ban.

The complaint contains quotes from homophobic Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and copies of internal correspondence between Moscow and Russian authorities on the issue of the conduct of gay pride in the capital.

For the past two years a gay march on 27th May has been banned by the city’s mayor.

Last year Moscow Pride organisers, MEPs and prominent British gay activists were among 31 people arrested as they attempted to deliver a letter of protest about the ban to the mayor’s office.

Peter Tatchell and popstar Richard Fairbrass were violently attacked by a homophobic gang.

The mayors of London and Paris both condemned the Moscow authorities for banning the gay march.

Meanwhile Pride organisers are planning their 2008 march.

“The 27th of May next year will be on Tuesday. We will celebrate the 15th anniversary of decriminalisation of male homosexuality on the next Saturday,” Pride organiser Nicolas Alexeyev said.