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St. Petersburg Gay Pride Organisers Ask for Political Support from Foreign Embassies

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ST. PETERSBURG, June 8, 2010 (    Organisers of St. Petersburg Gay Pride have asked for support from the governments of 18 countries – and the Ambassador for the European Union.

The official request to stage the Pride march on June 26 has yet to be made – under the law for public demonstrations, a request can only be made two weeks before the proposed event.

Unlike in Moscow, it is not known how the St. Petersburg authorities will react to the application.  However, there is considerable

St Petersburg Pride co-organisers Maria Efremenkova and Yuri Gavrikov wrote yesterday to the Ambassadors of 13 Member States of the European Union, and to the Ambassadors of the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway and Switzerland.

They pointed out that freedom of assembly is guaranteed in Russia by Article 31 of the Constitution as well as Articles 11 and 14 of the European Convention for Human Rights and Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  Russia has ratified the two international protocols.

“We need your material or political support which could for example take the form of a statement of support,” the co-organisers said in their letter.

Speaking last night from St Petersburg, Maria Efremenkova, the Pride Chief Organizer said that the letter is more than just a mailing to the foreign representatives in Russia.

“We sent a request for support to the Embassies of countries who have already given similar support to other Eastern European Pride organisers this year, like Bucharest, Vilnius and Bratislava,” she said.

At the end of last month, the Embassies in Russia of several European Union Member States, plus the US, Canada and Australia, came under sharp criticism from the Moscow Gay Pride organisers after they declined to show any support when Moscow mayor Mayor Yuri Luzhkov banned the capital’s Gay Pride for the fifth consecutive year.

“The Embassies that denied us any support have supported other Gay Pride organisers in Eastern Europe,” Nikolai Alekseev, Moscow Pride chief organiser told a press conference on May 27.

“But when it when it comes to Russia, they are simply scared.”

At the same press conference, British gay activist Peter Tatchell condemned European Union and “Western” embassies as being “hypocritical”.

“They support Gay Pride events in Poland and Latvia, but not in Russia,” Mr. Tatchell pointed out.

Last week, the all-party ‘Intergroup’ for gay and lesbian rights in the European Parliament tabled a question to the European Commission and the European Council asking for explanation on the lack of support for Gay Pride organizers in Russia.  The written question also asked if there would be shift of policy in the future.


St. Petersburg Gay Pride Organisers Arrested at Opposition Demo.  Gays and lesbians who joined the “March of Opposition” on May 31 in St Petersburg were arrested by anti-riot police (OMON).  (UK Gay News, June 3, 2010)


  St. Petersburg Pride website (English)





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Posted: 8 June 2010 at 00:30 (UK time)


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