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Gays Sue Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev Over Moscow Pride




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MOSCOW, June 23, 2008 –  (  –  Organisers of Moscow Gay Pride today applied to the city’s Tverskoi District Court accusing Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev of “inaction on their letter” concerning the staging of the march for tolerance – and respect for the rights of freedoms of homosexual people in Russia – in Alexandrovskiy Sad, part of the Kremlin.

Planned for Saturday May 31, the event was set for up to 200 people between 1 and 2 p.m.

The letter to the Russian President was handed to his administration on May 16.  Five days later, the letter was forwarded to the Prefecture of the Central Administrative Area of Moscow.

Presidential Administration relied on the provision of the law which allows them to forward the letter to the competent authority.

In their complaint to Tverskoi District Court, organisers of Moscow Pride insist that the questions raised in the letter to the President concerning the conduct of the public event in Alexandrovskiy Sad are the jurisdiction of the President.

This, they claim, is clearly written in Article 8 of the Federal Law on assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches and pickets.

According to the law on consideration of citizens’ letters, Moscow Pride organisers had the right to receive a motivated reply from the Russian President on the issues raised in their letter.  The reply was supposed to be given within a 30-day period.

The applicants asked Tverskoi District Court to judge that inaction of the President was unlawful and oblige the head of state to give a motivated reply to the letter of the Pride organisers in accordance with his competence.

Nikolai Alekseev, the principal organiser of Moscow Pride, said this afternoon that “representatives of the Russian authorities talk a lot about the necessity to follow the law and at the same time they did not learn how to do it themselves.

“They demand it from their citizens.  The President quite possibly did not know anything about our letter to him though we, as applicants, are not obliged to understand how bureaucratic procedures of Kremlin administration work,” he continued.

“Our letter was addressed to the President and that is the reason why we apply to court against the President.”

Mr. Alekseev suggested that “Presidential Administration officials probably again wanted to put all responsibility on Moscow authorities; but in this case representatives of the Prefecture acted in accordance with their powers and sent the letter back to the Administration.

“Only the President has powers to allow the events in Alexandrovskiy Sad,” he pointed out.

He underlined that “we applied to the President Dmitriy Medvedev as a safeguard of the Constitution because Moscow authorities unlawfully denied us our constitutional right to freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 31 of the Constitution”.

“It’s a pity that the President, even though he proclaimed that he would fight for human rights, did not interfere and put an end to the unlawful actions of Moscow officials.”

The third Moscow Pride took place in Moscow on Sunday June 1.  Gay activists picketed the monument to the Russian composer Petr Tchaikovskiy and then displayed a huge banner from one of the flats on Tverskaya Street in front of Moscow City Hall.

The banner read: “Rights to gays and lesbians! Homophobia of Moscow Mayor should be prosecuted”.

 ■ Last week, Tverskoi District Court of Moscow ruled that the ban of one of the earlier scheduled Pride marches, planned for May 1 was lawful.  The organisers plan to appeal the decision in Moscow City Court and then, if overruled by the higher court, in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.  

Posted: 23 June 2008 at 13:00 (UK time)


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