Russia: Woman arrested for drawn-on Conchita Wurst beard

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A woman at a Moscow rally in honour of drag artist Conchita Wurst has been arrested for having a drawn-on beard.

Several people were detained at pride rallies across the Russian capital yesterday, after official permission for the event was denied.

Though early reports suggested just two activists had been arrested, latest figures suggest at least six people were arrested across two different events.

Protester Dana Frieder said: “Every year it’s the same joke. We just express our rights, police stop us, and we are released two hours later.

“It’s depressing, but we are not afraid of the police – we fear homophobes, and we hope they will not come here.”

Moscow official Alexei Mayorov said previously: “We informed them that the event could not take place.”

He added that his decision was made “to respect morality in the education of the younger generation”, but also due to “concerns [the march] would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents”.

Despite moral outrage from leaders, Russia’s public voted Wurst’s Eurovision performance the third best on the night, and her winning song, Rise Like a Phoenix, has topped the Russian iTunes charts.

The Deputy Leader of Russia’s Communist party, Valery Rashkin, has led a call for the country to withdraw from the competition, and create a “family friendly” rival competition for its regions and allied countrie

Five people were arrested and hauled into the back of a van by police at last year’s Pride rally.