Moscow bans demonstration outside Iranian embassy

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Gay rights activists in Russia have been denied permission to protest outside Iran’s embassy in Moscow.

Similar pickets were approved in 2006 and 2007 and passed off without incident.

Today the Prefecture of the Central Administrative Area of Moscow denied permission for a demo this Saturday, on the grounds of security.

For the last few years protests against executions in Iran have taken place across the world on 19th July.

It is the anniversary of the public hanging in 2005 of two teenagers accused of homosexual acts.

Mahmoud Asgari, 15 and Ayaz Marhoni, 17, from Khuzestan province, were witnessed engaging in homosexual activities in a semi-public area and were hanged for perverting Islamic law.

The National Council of Resistance in Iran issued a press release in 2005 which stated, “the victims were charged with disrupting public order among other things.”

Islamic law states that all sexual acts outside of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden and punishable.

“The Moscow authorities once again breached the Russian Constitution and Russian legislation on public events,” said protest organiser Nicolas Alexeyev.

“Without any reasons they banned another action of sexual minorities and deprived them of their right to protest.

“This time it is more than obvious that the denial to conduct the picketing was fully discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation.

“We applied to the Prefecture with the identical notification to the ones we used in the last two years adding one word.

“Before we said that we were protesting against executions of minors and this time we said that we will protest against executions of minors and homosexuals.

“This was enough for the authorities to ban the event.” Moscow Pride has been banned every year since 2006, and the Mayor of the city called gay rights protesters “Satanic.” Organisers are to fight the bans in the European Court of Human Rights.

Last year protests against the hanging of the two gay teenagers were held in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, London, Marseilles, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Provincetown, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sioux Falls, Stockholm, Tehran, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw and Washington DC.