Lawmakers demand investigation into attack on St. Petersburg Pride activists

St Petersburg Pride in Russia

Russian lawmakers have demanded that an investigation is launched into the attacks on LGBT activists who attended St. Petersburg Pride.

Boris Vishneysky is one of seven lawmakers who have written to the police chief of St. Petersburg urging for a full investigation into an attack that happened during the Pride parade.

St Petersburg Pride in Russia

St. Petersburg Pride (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Several men attacked people at the Pride celebration using pepper spray and injured 15 activists and journalists.

Those who were targeted said that some police officers were close by when the men set upon them but failed to interfere.

One LGBT activist was detained at the event after she walked away from the picket spot she was holding.

Anna Grabetskaya is facing 10 days in a detention centre as police said that she ignored their warnings after she was given “10 minutes to cease her unlawful actions”.

The Russian LGBTI network said in a video which captured the moment she was arrested, Grabetskaya “made only a few steps and did not resist the arrest.”

She was detained for disobedience of police orders and violation of the procedure for conducting a public event.

In a statement posted on the Russian LGBT Network’s Facebook page, the activist group said that Grabetskaya’s possessions including her phone were taken from her when she was detained.

St Petersburg Pride in Russia

St. Petersburg Pride (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no official information regarding the court hearing or what is happening to Grabetskaya.

However, her wife, Maria Kozlovskaya, believes that she is being detained for 10 days.

Pride goers were watched closely by police and far-right protesters.

An estimated 100 people turned out for the eighth annual LGBT Pride in St. Petersburg’s Field of Mars, making it the biggest Pride since 2010.

Holding Pride celebrations in Russia is increasingly difficult since the introduction of the “gay propaganda law” in 2013.

The controversial law, which has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, can carry a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($8,000 USD).