2009-03-11 16:10:00

Organizers of Moscow gay parade complain to Strasbourg court, demand 1.7 Mln euro in damages

Moscow, March 11, Interfax - The organizers of a Moscow gay parade hope the Strasbourg Court will grant their complaint about the Moscow authorities' ban on 155 marches and award them 1.7 million euro in damages.

"The case, referred to the European Court on Wednesday, is unique in many ways and unprecedented. No other complaint has ever challenged a ban on so many public events. Moreover, not a single country has faced complaints against bans on gay parades for three years in a row," Nikolay Alexeyev, the organizer of the Moscow gay parade, told Interfax.

"Sexual minorities have demanded an award of 1.7 million euro in damages," he said.

The marches cited in the compliant were to be held in 2008.

Sexual minorities submitted to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov notifications they were planning to hold five marches on each day in May, but all of them were turned down. The Moscow authorities failed to guarantee the marchers' security, citing the need to prevent unrest as the reason for the ban.

Sexual minorities are planning to parade in Moscow on May 16 on the last day of the Eurovision song contest, Alexeyev said.

The selection of Moscow as the venue of the Eurovision song contest "gives us a unique chance to tell the world even more emphatically that the rights of sexual minorities are violated in Russia and in Belarus," he said.