Activists being arrested for attempting
to hold a Pride march in May 2009. (Pic by Andy Thayer)

The Gay Russia website reports that the European Court of Human Rights has extended the deadline for Russia to respond to complaints by Moscow Pride organisers about its banning of Pride and other LGBT events.

Last September, the Court formally opened the case of 163 banned LGBT events in Moscow, including the banning of Moscow Prides in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Last month, the Russian government asked the Court to extend the deadline, citing a workload of cases to manage. The government has now been granted until 20 February to submit its position to the Court.

“We have been engaged in this fight for freedom of assembly for five years,” said disappointed Moscow Pride chief organiser Nikolai Alekseev.

“Now that the Court finally opened our cases, we are paying the price of the workload of the Russian mission in Strasbourg. Will this ever end?”

Alekseev pointed out that due to the delay in the case it was unlikely that a ruling would be made by the Court before 29 May, the planned date for the next Pride event in Moscow.

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