Friday, October 31st8.5°C
21625
22968

Russian police arrest gay activists

Russian police on Friday arrested several gay rights activists protesting in St. Petersburg and Moscow on the opening day of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In Moscow, police quickly detained 10 gay rights activists who waved rainbow flags Friday on Red Square and attempted to sing a Russian anthem.

One of the demonstrators, Gleb Latnik, said police insulted them and that one officer even spat in the face of an activist. He said he, and other protesters were released a few hours later.

Moscow police refused to comment.

In St. Petersburg, four activists were detained Friday after unfurling a banner quoting the Olympic Charter's ban on any form of discrimination. The protesters, who gathered on St. Petersburg's Vasilyevsky Island, were quickly rounded up by police, according to Natalia Tsymbalova, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist.

A Russian law banning gay "propaganda" from reaching minors has drawn strong international criticism and calls for boycott of the Sochi Games from gay activists and others.

Russian law also bans any unsanctioned protests and violators may face fines or prison sentences.

Human Rights First, a rights watchdog based in New York and Washington D.C., quickly condemned the arrests of Russian LGBT activists.

"The most alarming thing is, despite the international attention, the authorities are still bringing more charges under the law and it is being applied on a larger scale," spokesman Shawn Gaylord said in a statement.

 

The Canadian Press
How does this story make you feel? (190 total votes)
Castanet MoodMeter
Shocked
2.6%
Indifferent
51.1%
Sad
36.3%
Informed
6.3%
Skeptical
3.7%

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.



Read more World News




Recent Trending





23119

23902


23166



World Quick Links World Discussion Forum
United Nations
World Health Organization
UNESCO
World Trade Organization
NATO
European Union
The Commonwealth
Francophonie
Olympics
Google Earth


Member of BC Press Council


23717