Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moscow Pride Bans Ruled Illegal

LGBT Rights campaigners are celebrating throughout Europe today after the European Court of Human Rights ruled the persistent ban on Moscow Pride since 2006 to be illegal.

The Strasbourg ruling is a particular victory for Nikolai Alekseev, who has faced years of false arrests, imprisonment and violence for his steadfast determination to hold a pride celebration in the capital. The disgraced former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov is primarily responsible for the annual ban, but successive Russian presidents Putin and Medvedev also share responsibility as they did not over-rule him.

Peter Tatchell, who attends Moscow Pride and was severely beaten by homophobic thugs two and a half years ago, said, “This is an astonishing victory. Nikolai and his small band of daring LGBT activists have taken on the might of the Russian state - and won.
“It is a triumph for LGBT Russians and for all Russians who love liberty. This ruling expands the democratic space and gives comfort to human rights defenders everywhere. It’s a positive result for gay rights and liberty, and a setback for autocracy and homophobia.”

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