The Chinese authorities have been accused of blocking access to the website for this week’s third annual Shanghai Pride.

According to Fridae, the site is not accessible within China and this has led to an effective blackout on information about the week-long event that kicked off on the weekend.

Journalist J.W. Ken noted that the Pride opening party on Saturday was a lacklustre affair, although organisers said that around 600 people attended the event.

Organisers have chosen to disseminate information about events only a day or two before they take place to avoid interference from the authorities.

During the inaugural 2009 Shanghai Pride festival organisers were ordered to shut down several planned events.

This year’s Shanghai Pride includes parties, an art exhibition, lectures, film screenings and a sports day, but, as in previous years, no parade.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997 in China and was removed from the official Chinese list of mental disorders in 2001.

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