Briton arrested after Russian gay rights protest
Briton arrested after gay pride protest
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Sunday, 27, May 2007 02:20
A British gay rights campaigner was among those arrested after violence broke out at a banned gay rights protest in Russia.
Veteran protestor Peter Tatchell was detained in central Moscow along with MPs from Germany and Italy and Nikolai Alexeyev, a senior gay rights leader.
Hundreds of ultra-nationalists disrupted the protest by punching and kicking the gay rights group and throwing eggs at them.
Mr Tatchell had his clothes pulled and was smacked in the face before being arrested.
The Briton was among the gay pride demonstrators trying to give a petition to the mayor of Moscow demanding the right to stage public marches.
Italian MEP Marco Capatto was kicked by an anti-gay rights protester and then detained when he demanded police protection.
The protest was to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Russia.
Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has labelled homosexuality a "satanic act" and insists he will never allow gay rights parades in Russia's capital.
Viktor Bryukov, a spokesman for Moscow city police, said he warned the organisers not to go ahead with the march.
"Moscow police don't have the right to encroach on the law to pander to a group of citizens who exploit the theme of human rights while distorting this notion," Mr Bryukov said.