2008-07-14 11:48:00

Moscow authorities ban gay picket near Iranian embassy

Moscow, July 14, Interfax - The Moscow central administrative district prefecture turned down a request by gay advocacy groups for permission to hold picket against what they called the persecution and executions of sexual minorities in Iran on Monday.

The applicants asked for permission to hold the picket near the Iranian embassy on July 19. About 30 people were due to take part, Moscow gay pride parade organizer Nikolay Alexeyev told the Interfax-Religion.

He said the application was submitted last Friday in strict compliance with Russian laws, but the prefecture retorted it could not guarantee the security of those taking part in the picket.

"This is a flagrant violation of the Russian constitution and laws on public actions," Alexeyev said.