Moscow police will break up banned gay Pride march

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Moscow’s police force says it will break up an unauthorised gay Pride march to be held tomorrow.

Gay rights campaigners were denied permission to hold the event for the sixth year running but said they would hold it anyway.

Police said today they would cut short any “unlawful actions”, Ria Novosti reports.

City authorities said last month that the march could not go ahead because of a “risk of public disorder”.

But Pride leader Nikolai Alekseev said that any disorder would be blamed on police and the mayor, Sergei Sobyanin.

While campaigners have flouted past bans, some marches ended in violence and allegations of police brutality.

Neo-Nazis have targeted gay rights activists in the past.

Last October, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that bans on Moscow Pride contravene international human rights laws.

The city’s last mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, repeatedly banned the marches on pretexts of health and safety and has called gays and lesbians “satanic”. Gay rights campaigners hoped Mr Sobyanin would be more sympathetic to their cause.