Pfizer fires employee for taking part in Moscow Pride


pfizer_fires_man_for_moscow_pride_protestLGBT activists are calling for a global boycott of American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer over claims that its Russian division fired an employee for taking part in last month’s Moscow Pride protest.

On May 30, a group of activists, including Pfizer staff member Vadim Gruzdev, participated in the illegal but peaceful protest to demonstrate against the decade-long ban on holding Pride in the Russian capital.

Gruzdev drove a quad bike with Moscow Pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev and another activist on the back as they waved a rainbow flag and trailed dark orange smoke from a flare.

Gruzdev and his colleagues were then not only brutally attacked by anti-gay extremists but were also arrested and jailed for ten days by the authorities.

On Wednesday, Alekseev posted on Facebook: “Vadim Gruzdev dismissed from the Russian branch of a major US pharmaceutical company Pfizer only for the fact that participated in the Moscow gay parade and spent 10 days in jail on trumped-up charges!”

He added: “It turns out large foreign companies are so afraid of the Russian special services that are ready to shit on all human values. But we will achieve justice! Boycott Pfizer worldwide!!!”

Amnesty International said earlier in statement that the activists, including Gruzdev, were “imprisoned solely because of the peaceful attempt to exercise their right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.”

In a letter to the company appealing to be reinstated, Gruzdev wrote: “Due to the fact that our arrest was illegal, and the case to be referred to the European Court of Human Rights I appeal to you to analyse the situation and restore me in the workplace in the name of fairness.”

According to GayRussia.Ru, activists are planning an online petition and intend to picket Pfizer’s offices in Moscow and New York.

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

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