the republic logo

Russian police detain several gay activists in St. Petersburg

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Police in St. Petersburg on Sunday detained several gay activists who have held pickets in defense of gay rights on a Russian military holiday.

Yuri Gavrikov, the leader of a gay rights group, was detained by police as he left his home to hold a one-man picket in front of the Hermitage Museum.

Police accused him of cursing on the street, which he denied. Gavrikov was held at a police station pending a court hearing.

Veterans of Russian Airborne Forces confronted several other gay activists, who held individual pickets near the Hermitage, and tore up their posters. Police quickly took the gay activists away, even though the law allows one-person pickets without permission from authorities.

"Yes, I'm gay, and I have similar rights to other people," said one activist, Alexei Nazarov, who traveled from Moscow to stage a picket.

Paratroopers gathered in many Russian cities to mark the Airborne Forces Day on Sunday.

"What they do here is not right, it's terrible," said one veteran paratrooper, Alexander Fadeyev, who tried to tear the slogans from protesters' hands. "We're in Russia and not in America. Let them do what they want in America, but not in Russia."

Russia has been widely criticized for infringement on gay rights following the passage of a law that prohibits vaguely defined "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors.

PHOTO: A gay rights activist stands with a rainbow flag, in front of journalists, during a protesting picket at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. Several gay rights activists stood protesting against gay rights violation at Palace square where paratroopers celebrated Paratroopers' Day. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
A gay rights activist stands with a rainbow flag, in front of journalists, during a protesting picket at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. Several gay rights activists stood protesting against gay rights violation at Palace square where paratroopers celebrated Paratroopers' Day. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Video:
PHOTO: Several Russian LGBT activists were arrested by police at a Gay Pride demonstration in St. Petersburg on Sunday. (Aug. 2)
Several Russian LGBT activists were arrested by police at a Gay Pride demonstration in St. Petersburg on Sunday. (Aug. 2)
Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: A former paratrooper celebrating Paratroopers Day, left, attempts to take away a broadsheet from a gay rights activist who is taking part in a protesting picket at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. Several gay rights activists stood protesting against gay rights violation at Palace square where paratroopers celebrated Paratroopers' Day. Paratroopers are an elite unit of the Russian Army, and everyone in the country recognize their blue berets.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Click to view (7 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.