28 May 2007, 10:15
Police detain organizer of action in support of homosexuals in Moscow
Moscow, May 28, Interfax - One of the organizers of a gay parade Nikolay Alexeyev has been detained near the building of the Moscow City Hall, where he came to take part in an action in support of homosexuals, a source in Moscow law enforcement agencies told Interfax.
Several people were injured in the action. Several participants of the unauthorized action were stricken at the faces and fled to a metro station.
OMON officers detained both several participates of the gay parade and representatives of extremist organizations, who started the brawl.
Meanwhile, organizers claim that there are MEPs among those detained. However, police said that the measures were taken primarily in order to guarantee the security of MEPs.
OMON officers rounded up the square in front of the Moscow City Hall in Tverskaya street. However, clashes between participants of the action and representatives of radical organizations have taken place outsider the round-up.
Lena Katina and Yuliya Volkova from the Tatu band, as well as Alexey Mitrofanov, a MP from the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, came to the place of the action. Katina said that she came to the square together with Volkova, because it is not fair "when it is prohibited to love the ones they like." When Katina and Volkova were getting in a car, opponents of the action threw eggs at the car.
At the same time, Mitrofanov told journalists that he came to the place of the action together with Alexeyev and MEPs. They wanted to give a collective letter to the City Hall asking to allow holding a gay pride parade in Moscow; however, police detained the an organizer of the action.
Mitrofanov said that he did not expect such a development of the situation. "How can one act in such a manner, assuming that Russia wants to be a part of Europe?" he said.
Moreover, members of representatives of the Union of Orthodox Gonfalonieres arrived to the square as well. Deputy head of the union Igor Miroshnichenko said that he came to the action to support "brave police and OMON officers, and should somebody will try to squeeze in to help police."
Member of the Bashkortostan's parliament Edward Murzin, known for advocating homosexual marriages, has been detained before the beginning of a picket in support in rights of homosexuals in downtown Moscow.
Members of the union want to congratulate Muscovites and visitors of the city on the day of Holy Trinity, he said, adding that "gays and weirdoes and those who defy the will of the God should not be walking around the city" on the day.
"We want to attract public attention, so that nobody even speak about gay parades," he said, aiding that "those who want destabilization in Russia" are behind the organizers of the action.
Several opponents of the action started swearing at homosexuals, when they began to speak with journalists. Later, the same opponents tried to start a brawl with gays; however, OMON officers prevented the attempt.