■ The unknown assailant about to punch
Peter Tatchell in Moscow during Gay Pride.
LONDON, May 29, 2007 – 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.
They condemn Moscow police, and the
OMON riot police, for “arresting peaceful gay and lesbian rights activists,
and standing by while those activists were attacked by extremist thugs
opposite City Hall”.
Activists, including European
lawmakers, senior foreign human rights officials and celebrities, attempted
to submit a letter, signed by around 50 MEPs, protesting against Mayor
Luzhkov’s renewed ban of the Moscow Gay Pride Parade.
Green Party principal speaker Dr.
Derek Wall said in a statement: “This type of police action simply confirms
that human rights are not respected in President Putin’s Russia.
“Russia, as a member of the Council
of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, has a
responsibility to allow its citizens the right to peaceful protest.”
He said that European democracies
must do everything they can to ensure that “Russia does not shirk that
“In this case, EU countries should
impose a travel ban on Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, just as they did on
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko because of his appalling human
“The EU is a force for
anti-discrimination, and Green MEPs have been at the forefront of promoting
new policies to ensure equal employment and partnership rights across the EU.
“The lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) population deserves political allies who will work with
us to benefit our community.
“The Green Party will keep on
campaigning for a Europe that we can be proud of, where the LGBT community
is treated as an essential and valued part of the our rich and diverse
culture,” he promised.
Veteran human rights campaigner and
Green Party member Peter Tatchell, the party’s prospective candidate for the
Oxford East constituency, was amongst those beaten by gangs of neo-Nazis,
nationalist extremists and Russian Orthodox fundamentalists, with the
apparent collusion of sections of the Moscow police and the Russian OMON
Mr. Tatchell had travelled to
Moscow at the request of the Moscow Gay Pride organisers to support the
event and the campaign for gay rights in Russia. He was the
at the opening session of the Moscow Gay Pride conference on Saturday
morning, 26 May 2007 at the Swissotel.
The first people arrested were
Nikolai Alekseev, the principal organiser of Moscow Pride, his colleagues on
the committee and German Green Party Member of Parliament Volker Beck.
They were seized as they attempted
to deliver a letter to Moscow Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, at City Hall.
Soon afterwards, Peter Tatchell
unfurled a placard reading, "Gay Rights," written in both Russian and
English. He was set upon and repeatedly bashed by right-wing extremists.
The OMON riot police stood by while
neo-Nazis punched Mr. Tatchell in the face, dragged him to the ground, and
kicked him all over his body.
Clutching a bloody eye, he was then
arrested by the riot police.
Speaking after the attacks Mr.
Tatchell said: “They arrested me, but let my attackers walk free
“There is no rule of law in Moscow.
The right to protest does not exist. This is not a democracy
“[The] protest was about much more
than gay rights – We were defending the right to freedom of expression and
peaceful protest for all Russians, gay and straight.
“The ban on Moscow Gay Pride is one
aspect of a much wider attack on civil society and human rights. It is
evidence of a failed transition from communism to democracy and of a rising
trend towards autocracy and authoritarianism, Mr. Tatchell said.
OTHER UK GAY NEWS MOSCOW PRIDE COVERAGE
Moscow Pride: A Photo Essay.
Eight photographs from l Moscow Pride. 2007
Principal Moscow Gay Pride
Organiser Alekseev Also Guilty. The main organiser of
Moscow Gay Pride was today found guilty of disobeying police officers while
breaching traffic rules on May 27 as he and other activists, including
European parliamentarians tried to deliver a petition to Moscow City Hall
signed by around 50 Members of the European Parliament.
(UK Gay News, June 9)
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)
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).
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Moscow Gay Pride 2006: Where Were the Human Rights
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.
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.
Tatchell: The Right To Hold Moscow Pride Is Not Just an
Issue of Gay, Lesbian Rights.
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.
She Promises, She Delivers –
Vladimir Luxuria in Moscow for Gay Pride. An interview with
Europe's first trangendered politician.
Posted: 29 May 2007 at 11:30 UK