2008-05-21 15:30:00

Gay parade organizers sue Moscow authorities for banning picket

Moscow, May 21, Interfax - Organizers of a gay picket, scheduled to be held outside the headquarters of the Prosecutor General's Office on May 17, have appealed the ban imposed on the event by the administration of Moscow's Central Administrative District with the city's Tagansky court.

"The administration was informed about the planned picket on May 13, in full compliance with the law. But the picket was banned on the same day by the Central Administrative District's Deputy Prefect Galina Boryakinskaya, who argued that the goal cited in the notification was resented by the public, and that this event could spark unrest, which is a threat to the participants' security," the organizers of the picket said in a statement on Wednesday

The picket set for May 13 was timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia.

"There could not be any reasons to fear encroachments on the picketers' security," the statement quoted gay organization leader Nikolay Alexeyev as saying.

"The ban imposed on the picket could be referred to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg," he said.

Two complaints about bans on sexual minorities' events in May 2006 and in May 2007 were earlier referred to the Strasbourg Court, the organizers said.