2007-06-22 11:35:00

Supreme Court upholds ban on last year's gay parade in Moscow

Moscow, June 22, Interfax - The Russian Supreme Court has upheld earlier court rulings banning last year's Moscow gay parade, which was scheduled to take place on May 27, 2006.

"The Russian Supreme Court agreed with the opinion of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow, saying the ban on the gay parade was lawful," organizer of the action Nikolay Alexeyev told Interfax on Friday.

"In considering the dispute the court came to the right conclusion on the legality of the actions of Moscow city officials," the ruling of the Supreme Court reads.

"The Moscow government reckoned it had few means to guarantee the security of the participants in the action and prevent rioting. The ban did not violate the applicant's rights and interests protected by the law," the ruling reads.

"Now it is clear that the European court in Strasbourg will finally close this lengthy case," Alexeyev said.

"We made all attempts to settle the case within the framework of the Russian justice system and we viewed the Strasbourg court as an means of last resort. However, the Russian authorities did not want to settle the issue in Russia," he said, adding that the European court is expected to rule on the case before May 31, 2008, the tentative date for holding the third gay parade.