■ Moscow City Court
photo courtesy GayRussia.ru
MOSCOW, November 8, 2007 (GayRussia).
An appeal by the organisers of this year’s Moscow Gay Pride was dismissed
The Moscow City Court threw out the
appeal, ruling that the decision of the lower Taganski district court that
the ban by Moscow authorities on pickets as part of May’s Moscow Pride was
Two pickets in support for
tolerance and respect of the rights and freedoms of homosexual people in
Russia were offered by the organisers of the gay pride as an alternative to
the march on the same day which was banned by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
One of the pickets was planned on
Tverskaya Square in front of City Hall while the other was planned in
Novopushkinsky Skver in downtown Moscow.
Organisers planned that between 50
to 100 participants will take part. Prefecture of the Central
Administrative Area of Moscow denied the permission for both events giving
reference to Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights which
allows to ban a public event for security reasons.
On August 24, Taganski district
court of Moscow ruled that the ban of the pickets by the prefecture was
lawful because the authorities were unable to provide the security of their
participants in the conditions when the conduct of those events provoke such
a strong negative reaction from the majority of the society.
In their appeal to Moscow City
Court, lodged on September 10, Pride organisers said that Russian
legislation does not allow an absolute ban of the public event and only
allows to the authorities to offer an alternative place or time. This was
not done by the prefecture.
Organisers asked the court to
overturn the local court decision and to rule that pickets’ bans were
“The hearing lasted not more than
five minutes,” said Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organisers.
“I have seen many things in Moscow
courts, but I never come across such a prearranged hearing.
“The panel of three judges debated
the decision for one minute, though it was clear that the decision was known
to them long before. Earlier these same judges already dismissed our
appeals against other decisions of Moscow authorities.”
“Now, we are waiting for the last
decision on our appeal against the ruling of Tverskoi district court which
said that the ban on the Pride march was lawful.
“Then we will send our second
application against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights,” he said.
An application to the European
Court over the ban on the Moscow Gay Pride march in 2006 has already been
lodged in Strasbourg.
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Creative Commons Licence.
Posted: 08 November 2007 at
13:00 (UK time)