MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) – Police have released all participants of an unsanctioned gay pride rally detained in the Russian capital on Saturday, the Moscow Interior Department said on Sunday.
“Administrative violation reports were compiled for 39 detainees: protocols for the breach of the established rules of holding gatherings and meetings were drawn up for 29 detainees and protocols for petty hooliganism were completed for the other ten,” the Interior Department said.
Several dozens of LGBT activists were detained in the Russian capital on Saturday during a string of gay pride events in the city’s center.
The majority were held during an attempted gay pride rally in front of the City Hall, which refused earlier to sanction the event.
Several gay rights activists were also held by the State Duma’s building when attempting to stage consecutive solitary pickets, which require no official permits.
Later in the evening, gay rights activists and their opponents clashed at popular Gorky Park, which includes one of Moscow’s so-called “Hyde Parks” allotted by the city authorities for demonstrations. The police said that some 15 activists from both sides were held.
Gay rights activists have been requesting permits to hold a rally in Moscow since 2006, but city authorities repeatedly refused to sanction the event. An anti-xenophobia rally staged by gay rights activists was sanctioned in St. Petersburg last year, but ended in an attack by ultranationalists that police failed to stop.
Russian authorities stepped up the crackdown on the LGBT community since last year, with several regions passing the ban on the vaguely defined “gay propaganda among minors.” The ban was proposed for nationwide adoption and successfully passed the first reading in the State Duma in January.