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Tatchell: The Right To Hold Moscow Pride Is Not Just an Issue of Gay, Lesbian Rights

 

Defence of Freedom of Expression For All Russians
 

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OTHER MOSCOW PRIDE 2007 COVERAGE ON UK GAY NEWS

Moscow Pride:  A Photo EssayEight photographs from l Moscow Pride. 2007

Moscow Gay Pride: Tatchell’s Assailant Not Arrested, Say Police. Moscow police confirm that they have opened a criminal investigation into the assault on British gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, at last Sunday's Moscow Gay Pride event.  But official police claims that they have arrested the right-wing extremist who punched Mr Tatchell in the face are untrue, according to the investigating officer.  (UK Gay News, June 1)

Moscow Gay Pride Organiser Khramov Found Guilty.  One of the three organisers of Moscow Pride has escaped a jail sentence and was fined when found guilty this afternoon in a Moscow court which threw-out evidence, given at a previous hearing by a number of MPs from Europe, as “frivolous”.  (UK Gay News, June 8)

Portuguese Gay Group Slams Russia, the EU and Portugal’s PM Over Moscow Pride.  The Portuguese gay and lesbian group Panteras Rosa (Pink Panthers) today hit out against the Russian authorities after the weekend’s violence in Moscow during Gay Pride.  (UK Gay News, May 29).

European Union Must Impose Travel Ban on Moscow Mayor of Gay Pride Trouble – Greens.  The British Green Party has today called for a European Union travel ban on the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, following violence in the streets of the capital on Sunday during Gay Pride – and heavy-handed police tactics which saw many arrests.  (UK Gay News, May 28)

May 28:  USA:    Beach, or Beaten in Moscow?  Commentary by Sara Whitman.  I sat at the beach today, and wondered how many people thought Allan and I, with Zachary in tow, thought we were heterosexual.  Okay, Allan in his tiny Speedo and me in my giant one piece Speedo and, of course, gym shorts, were not exactly looking incredibly straight but the image was enough to bother me.  I had read this morning that over thirty gay activists had been arrested in Moscow.

May 28:  UK/Russia:  London Mayor Appeals to Moscow For End of Gay Pride Ban.   Following yesterday’ violence against lesbian and gay rights demonstrators in Moscow – and the arrest of several of the demonstrators – the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has this morning written to his Moscow counterpart Mayor Luzhkov urging that no charges be brought against those who were demonstrating for lesbian and gay rights.

May 28:  Russia:  Gay Pride Organisers Alekseev and Two Others Await Court  – 15 Days In Prison Expected.  Nikolai Alekseev and two colleagues from Moscow Gay Pride are spending tonight in police custody at they await a court appearance later this morning.

May 28:  Russia:  Ahwazi Arabs Condemn Arrest of Gay Rights Demonstrators in Moscow.  Ahwazi Arab activists last night condemned the treatment of gay rights activist Peter Tatchell and other demonstrators in Moscow yesterday.

May 27:  Russia:  Peter Tatchell Speaks About His Experience of Gay Pride, the Assault and His Arrest.  Arrests and violent attacks marred today’s attempted Moscow Gay Pride march.  Fifteen to 20 marchers were arrested.  The organiser of Moscow Pride, Nikolai Alekseev, is being detained overnight at Moscow’s Tverskoi district police station, together with two prominent members of Russia’s Radical and Free Radical parties, Nikolai Khramov and Sergei Konstantinov.  British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was one of several Gay Pride marchers who were beaten today by gangs of neo-Nazis, nationalist extremists and Russian Orthodox fundamentalists.

May 27:  Russia:  Arrested Gay Pride Activist Asks World for Help.  From inside the Tverskoye police station, where he is being detained, Nikolai Alekseev – one of the Moscow Gay Pride organisers and its spokesperson – has issued a statement asking for international support and for the immediate release of all the gays activists currently being held.

May 27: 
Russia
  Moscow Gay Pride: Dispatches from the Front There was trouble in Moscow today when participants at Gay Pride,, led by a number of European politicians, tried to deliver a letter of protest to Mayor Yuri Luzhkov at City Hall.  Violence flared as they faced groups of neo-Facist thugs, religious groups, aggressive police and the OMON.  This is a "record" of the dispatches received by UK Gay News from many sources.

May 27:  Russia Tatchell at Moscow Gay Pride: We Are In This Fight Together.  Greetings!  I bring you a message of comradeship and solidarity from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] human rights organizations OutRage! in London.  Your struggle is our struggle. This is the full text of Peter Tatchell's keynote speech to the Moscow Gay Pride Conference yesterday

May 27: 
Russia
Moscow Gay Pride 2006: Where Were the Human Rights Campaigners? The Same Question Can be Asked Today The following commentary by GayRussia.ru was written a year ago.  Has the situation changed?  The stark answer is: “Not really”.   Ludmila Alekseeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group and Lev Ponomarev of the Movement for Human Rights have both declined to come, just as last year.

May 26:  Russia Moscow Gay Pride Blog.

May 26:  Russia Moscow City Hall Quiet as 120 Journalists Check In For Moscow Gay Pride.  With Gay Pride about to start, Moscow is surprisingly quiet.  Not a single official statement has been released by Mayor of Moscow, unlike at the same time last year.
 

May 25:  Russia
She Promises, She Delivers – Vladimir Luxuria in Moscow for Gay Pride.  An interview with Europe's first trangendered politician.

 
   


 

 

DEFIANT TATCHELL!


■ Peter Tatchell displays the international gay "rainbow flag" in Red Square during last year's Moscow Gay Pride.
photo:  UK Gay News

 

MOSCOW, May 25, 2007 (GayRussia.ru)  –  International solidarity can help give a psychological and practical boost to local LGBT activists, Peter Tatchell said shortly after arriving in Moscow for the city’s second Gay Pride.

“It also offers a degree of protection against State repression,” he said.  “Mayor Luzhkov is already less vocal against gay pride than he was this time last year.

“Perhaps that’s because he knows the world is watching and there are high profile international observers attending the pride conference and march,” the London-based human rights activist and founder of Outrage! suggested.

“The right to hold Moscow Pride is not just an issue of gay rights – it’s a defence of freedom of expression for all Russians.

“Gay people are in the front line of the movement to defend the right to freedom of expression and assembly.”

Mr. Tatchell, who was at last year’s Moscow Pride – the first to be staged in the Russian capital, admitted that he was a little scared of what lay ahead for the Pride March, scheduled for Sunday.

“It is going to be dangerous,” he said.  “We might be assaulted and arrested, like last year.

“But freedom never comes without people taking risks and challenging the authorities.”

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has already banned the march – a ban that, Gay Pride organisers say, flouts both the Russian constitution and the European Charter on Human Rights which the country signed-up to as it emerged from Communism.

A case against Russia over the banning of Pride last year has been lodged with the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which last month ruled against Poland and the ban by the then Mayor of Warsaw (now the President of Poland) two years ago.

Peter Tatchell had a message for Mayor Luzhkov:  “Homophobia is hateful and divisive.  It does not befit the mayor of a great city like Moscow.  Open your mind and your heart, and you will find that lesbian and gay people are part of your city.  As law abiding citizens, they are entitled to dignity, respect and rights- including the right to peaceful protest.”

But the message fell on deaf ears – the Mayor is not allowing the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday.

The only person who, apparently, can force a change of mind in Moscow City Hall is President Vladimir Putin.

And Mr. Tatchell pointed out that President Putin has said on a number of occasions that the rights of all Russian citizens must be respected.

“We expect [the President] to give a lead in speaking out against homophobia and in legislating protection against discrimination for Russia’s queer citizens,” Mr. Tatchell said.

“As President of Russia, with a duty to defend the constitution, it is time [he] told the Moscow city authorities to lift the ban on gay pride.  It is constitutionally unlawful and is causing huge damage to Russia’s international reputation.”

And Mr. Tatchell hit out at some Russian human rights activists who refused to include gay and lesbian rights in their campaigns.

“When human rights activists pick and choose which freedoms to defend they are compromising the whole human rights agenda,” he pointed out.

“The fundamental, non-negotiable principle is that human rights are universal and indivisible.”

It is not only gays from around the world who are assembling in Moscow this weekend.  The world’s press are also here.

Even the Russian pop group t.A.T.u took time out from recording sessions in Hollywood to jet in for the weekend.

We think that every person should express his or her love to another person in the way these two people wish, and no third parties may interfere with their dogmas,” Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova said in a statement before leaving the USA.

“We are supporting people disregarding their sexual orientation or any other differences.”

Mr. Tatchell said that he was surprised that he was able to get a visa to travel to Russia.

“Either the Russian authorities are not very systematic in their surveillance of foreign visa applications or they don’t want the political embarrassment of having to ban foreign observers,” he said.

SEE ALSO

She Promises, She Delivers – Vladimir Luxuria in Moscow for Gay Pride.  An interview with Europe's first trangendered politician.  (UK Gay News, May 25, 2007)

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Posted: 25 May 2007 at 12:00 (UK time)

 

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