Police break up Moscow Pride, arrest activists


police_arrest_moscow_pride_2015_activistsPolice have arrested a group of Russian LGBT activists who attempted to hold an illegal Moscow Pride protest.

On Saturday, the small group of activists defied the authorities by staging the Pride demonstration at Tverskaya Square.

Scuffles quickly broke out between the LGBT activists and anti-gay protesters.

Nikolai Alexeyev, one of the Pride organisers was attacked as he and another activist rode around on a quad bike decked in rainbow flags with orange smoke streaming behind them.

Alexeyev was rushed by a group of thugs and punched; sustaining injuries to his finger.

The police moved in and arrested around 20 people, including LGBT activists and anti-gay protesters. Alexeyev was dragged into a police van holding a bloody cloth around his hand.

“Arrested and beaten at 10th Moscow Pride,” tweeted Alexeyev. “We are arrested! They probably broke my left hand finger.”

He called it, “The most brutal arrest at Moscow Pride ever!”

police_arrest_moscow_pride_2015_activists_nikolaiAlexeyev later said he and two other activists would be detained until Monday and would be charged with holding an illegal protest and disobeying police orders.

The city of Moscow announced earlier this month that it had once again banned organisers from holding a Pride parade, the tenth year in a row that it has done so.

Moscow has ignored a 2010 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the Pride bans are discriminatory and a violation of the right to free assembly.

Activists have repeatedly defied the bans over the years by holding smaller illegal protests; braving arrest and attacks by anti-gay thugs.

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