2008-06-02 10:24:00

36 detained for attempt to stage gay parade in Moscow

Moscow, June 2, Interfax - Thirty-six people have been detained for an attempt to stage gay parade on Tverskaya street in downtown Moscow on Sunday, the Information and Public Affairs Department of the Moscow Main Police Department told Interfax.

"Those detained were taken to Moscow police stations, but they are likely to be released after receiving routine instruction from police officials. No administrative protocols will be drawn up," police said.

Earlier that day the police have sealed Moscow's Tverskaya square in front of the Moscow government headquarters, where gay activists had planned to stage an unauthorized rally on Sunday.

The square has been fenced off and surrounded by regular and riot police. Police are also patrolling the entrances to Pushkinskaya and Okhotny Ryad metro stations, and a section of Tverskaya street between the two stations, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"Police have detained 15 nationalists, who threatened to throw eggs at gay activists, and took them to the local police department," a source in law enforcement services told the agency.

Earlier reports said that members of sexual minority groups plan to stage a gay parade in front of the Moscow government building. The Moscow authorities said permission for the action had been denied.

Some of the gay activists had locked themselves in a building on Tverskaya street from which they had hung out a poster demanding guarantees for the rights of homosexuals and criticizing Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.

The young man appeared near the building and told the press that he was in contact with the gay activists, who had locked themselves in the apartment. He also claimed that an action had been held earlier in the day on Nikitskaya street where the gay activists managed to walk several hundred meters holding a banner listing their demands.

As the young man was talking to the press, two young assailants attacked him. Both were detained by police.