Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A demonstration against homophobia violently repressed by police in Moscow

Police and Russian Orthodox fundamentalists were violently attacked, Saturday, May 28, a group of activists against homophobia who wanted to lay a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot of the Kremlin in Moscow, to recall the Nazi persecution suffered by homosexuals. The event was not the taste of "Orthodox icons holders," a small group of fundamentalist youth.

Stationed near the Manege Square, fundamentalists, some with shaved heads, others bearing crosses and holy pictures, pounced on protesters who chanted "Russia without homophobia." Elena Kostioutchenko, correspondent of Novaya Gazeta newspaper opposition and activist for the rights of lesbians, was struck on the temple by one of the "door" icon.

She had to be hospitalized. His days are not in danger. Other activists have been attacked. "God burned Sodom and Gomorrah, he will burn as Moscow if we allow it," said one of the fundamentalists, Leonid Simonovitch-Nikchitch. It was then torn and trampled a photo of British singer Elton John, very popular among Russian homosexuals.

For the police, who watched without doing anything, the opportunity was too good. The annual event of homosexuals, forbidden by the municipality threatened to degenerate into fisticuffs, he had to intervene. Thirty-four activists were arrested and manhandled, flat on the ground then dragged to a bus.

Among them were two U.S. activists, Dan Choi, for the rights of homosexuals to serve in the army and Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network and the French Louis-Georges Tin, who chairs the committee Idaho against homophobia. He says: "I was put in a cage inside the van and insulted in English by Russian police.

I feel that the police were in cahoots with extremist Orthodox. A few hours later we were released. The fact that homosexuals have no right to protest in Russia is seriously concerned to maintain this state in the Council of Europe. " Despite repeated requests since 2006, homosexuals have never won the Russian right to protest in Moscow.

All their attempts to celebrate Gay Pride in this city and elsewhere have been defeated and manhandled by police. According to a poll published in August 2010 by the Levada Center, 74% of respondents are convinced that gays and lesbians are depraved, or they suffer from personality disorders.

39% feel they should be forcibly treated, 18% want them away from society, 4% say they favor their "disposal". 82% were opposed to the organization each year of a "Gay Parade" in their city. The flame of homophobia was previously maintained by the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, known for his virulent and moved against homosexuals.

Disgraced, he was replaced in September 2010 by Sergei Sobyanin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin. The new mayor has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, banning the Gay Pride 2011. A ban that ignores the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In October 2010, the Strasbourg judges held that the refusal to grant homosexuals the right to assemble and protest is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, ratified by Moscow in 1998.

Marie Jego

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