6 Gay-Rights Activists Detained Over Rally in Moscow

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from RIA Novosti: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130724/182399366/6-Gay-Rights-Activists-Detained-Over-Rally-in-Moscow.html

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Six gay-rights activists were detained on Wednesday for holding an unauthorized rally in central Moscow, a gay-rights group and the city police said.

The Moscow Gay Pride movement decided to hold a public event outside the Russian State Children’s Library “to offer minors unbiased information about the nature of homosexuality” and to “draw public attention to homophobic and discriminatory treatment of underage gays and lesbians,” the GayRussia website said.

After a request to hold the rally was rejected by City Hall on grounds that the event would violate Russia’s ban on homosexual propaganda, activist Alexei Davydov decided to hold a so-called one-person picket, which, according to Russian legislation, does not require prior approval by city authorities.

Davydov was detained by police shortly after he unfurled a poster that said, “Being gay is normal,” near an entrance to the children’s library. Five other activists accompanying him were also detained.

"The detainees were taken to a police station to decide on whether administrative sanctions should be imposed,” a police spokesman said.

On June 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality toward minors.

The law seeks to levy fines for such offenses from 800,000 rubles ($24,000) to 1 million rubles ($30,500) for legal entities, from 4,000 rubles ($120) to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and from 40,000 rubles ($1,220) to 50,000 rubles ($1,530) for officials. Legal entities may also be suspended for 90 days for disseminating gay propaganda among children.

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