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Moscow Court Upholds Ban of Moscow Gay Pride by Mayor Luzhkov
Organisers say the court decision will not change their plans for “event” at European Commission office 

 
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■ Nikolai Alekseev interviewd by local television outside the court this afternoon.
Photo: Chad Meacham/http://www.walkwithpridenow.com
 

 

MOSCOW, May 28, 2010 (GayRussia)    A judge at the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow confirmed today the legality of the earlier ban of the Moscow Pride march by the Mayor of the Russian capital, Yuri Luzhkov.

But Pride organisers are still insisting that they will defy the ban and go ahead with “an event” outside the official offices of the representative of the European Commission.

The decision of Judge Marina Chernova follows a similar outcome of another hearing yesterday at the Tagansky District Court concerning the ban of three pickets applied by the organizers and banned by the Prefecture of the Central Area of the city..

During this afternoon’s hearing, the representative of the City hall explained that the march has been banned due to the considerable number of public actions already planned tomorrow in Moscow from 9am to 9pm in support of the Government of Prime Minister Putin.

“No problem,” replied Pride chief organiser Nikolai Alekseev.  “We can re-schedule our action from 9pm to 11pm”.

But the representative of the Mayor answered that the police needs a shift of two hours to relocate.

“Why do they need to relocate since it will take place at the same location,” Mr. Alekseev responded.

The hearing then turned into a ‘comic opera’ and the Judge’s secretary was virtually in tears of laughter, as were the LGBT activists who were in the court room.

However, Mr. Alekseev said when he was leaving the Court that “today’s decision will only come into force in 10 days according to the Russian Law and therefore, it does not apply to the event we will conduct tomorrow in front of the office of the European Commission.”

Nikolai Alekseev said yesterday that the Moscow LGBT activists intends to protest tomorrow against what they call the “hypocrisy of the European Union and the Embassies of its Member States which can bring political support to Gay Pride organizers in Eastern Europe expect to those in Russia and Belarus.”

LGBT activists have been banned from staging any form of public action since 2006 which saw the first attempt to organise a gay Pride march in Moscow.  Over the last five years, activists, have been refused permission to conduct over some 180 public LGBT events in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ryazan or Tambov.

The Russian courts have always upheld the bans by public officials.  However, it is expected that things will change for Russian LGBT people as the European Court of Human Rights is expected to give a decision later this year in the case of the ban of Moscow Prides 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“The European Court’s decision will be binding for Russia,” Mr. Alekseev.

Speaking yesterday at the high profile Moscow Pride news conference, German MP Volker Beck expressed no doubt that the Russian government would follow the decision of the European Court and allow the LGBT community to stage its first Gay Pride march in Russia in future years.

SEE ALSO

Blogging from Moscow Gay Pride.  UK Gay News is in Moscow and blogging has started.  Today the first of two legal appeals on Pride bans ... and a press conference in the Holiday Inn.  (UK Gay News, May 27, 2010)

Luzhkov Should Stand Trial Over Moscow Gay Pride Bans Says Tatchell.  The mayor of Moscow is a criminal over his bans of Moscow Gay Pride for the last five years, the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said this afternoon.  (UK Gay News, May 27, 2010)

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Posted: 28 May 2010 at 17:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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