Moscow gays defy police & neo-Nazi threats
They risk arrest and violent attack
Peter Tatchell will march with them in solidarity
Moscow - 27 May 2011
Moscow Gay Pride Parade 2011
1pm, Saturday 28 May, The Kremlin, at the gates to the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier, Alexandersky Gardens.
1.30pm, march to Moscow City Hall, Tverskaya Street.
London human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will join tomorrow's banned Moscow Gay Pride parade, in solidarity with
Russia's beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"We expect to bashed by neo-Nazis who have promised to attack the parade. The Moscow police are refusing to protect us.
The possibility of sustaining serious injuries is a worry. Russian neo-Nazis have previously murdered other protesters.
The police have vowed to arrest us. In particular, the Russian marchers are likely to suffer harsh treatment and
punishment," warned Mr Tatchell
"We are afraid but not afraid. Despite the risks to us personally, the human rights of gay Russians must be defended. By
defying this ban, we are defending the right of all Russians to freedom of expression and peaceful protest. We express
our support for every Russian person whose right to protest has been denied. As well as defending gay human rights, we
defend the human rights of all Russia's minorities, including Jewish, Black, Roma, Asian and Muslim people," said Mr
Actor Sir Ian McKellen and pop singer Jimmy Sommerville have sent messages of support to Moscow Gay Pride, strongly
criticising the Mayor of Moscow for banning the parade.
The Council of Europe's Secretary-General and Commissioner for Human Rights, respectively Thorbjorn Jagland and Thomas
Hammarberg, have both condemned the ban on Moscow Gay Pride.
There will be attempts to remove Russia's voting rights in the Council of Europe if the march is banned and the
participants are arrested, since the European Court of Human Rights has already ruled that the ban is illegal and that
Russia must allow Moscow Gay Pride to proceed.
See this Background Briefing on Moscow Gay Pride: