The comprehensive resource for vacations and
hotels marketed to the LGBT community
Brussels Delight at Court Ruling on Moscow Gay Pride
BRUSSELS, October 21, 2010 – There was delight in Brussels following the ruling this morning in Strasbourg by the European Court of Human Rights on Moscow Pride.
“I was myself at two Pride marches in Moscow in 2006 and 2007, and I am delighted by the outcome of this case,” MEP Sophie in't Veld, a vice president of the Parliament’s all-party ‘Intergroup’ of LGBT right, told UK Gay News by e-mail.
“We’ve seen that Russian authorities have recently taken steps forward to allow for certain LGBT events for the first time ever; let us hope the Court’s ruling will contribute to a climate of further democratisation in Russia, allowing it to join the family of democratic and free nations, and allow LGBT people to finally take their rightful place in society.
“Who knows, this will pave the way to one day taking part in a real celebratory Pride march in Moscow ... that would be fantastic.”
And Maxim Anmeghichean, ILGA-Europe’s programmes director who also attended Moscow Pride in 2006 and 2007, said in a statement: “We congratulate Russian LGBTI activists with this important legal victory.
“We believe they are now equipped with a very solid legal tool to fully exercise their constitutional right to organise public events and express their opinions.
“Moreover, today’s decision reinforces the duty of the Russian state to provide full and adequate protection to LGBTI public events from any attempts to disturb them or from those who violently oppose these events.”
In London, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) also warmly welcomed the decision of the European Court of Human Rights
GALHA members strongly supported and attended the first Moscow Pride in 2006 and in November of that year Nikolai Alekseev was the guest of honour at the GALHA annual lunch where he received a special award for his bravery and determination in fighting for LGBT Rights in Moscow.
“I know that GALHA members, and will be very excited to hear this news,” GALHA Secretary Mike Rickwood said in a statement this afternoon.
“There were no greater and apparently more powerful bullies than the ex Mayor of Moscow, and his political and religious cronies.
“Yet despite all their attempts to trample on the rights of LGBT people in Moscow, it was the brave campaigners that prevailed.
“Let this news give heart to very LGBT person who is being bullied and harassed around the world,” added Mr Rickwood.
Continued below photograph
“The European Court of Human Rights has once again issued a strong, landmark ruling. The CSD (Gay Pride) ban in Moscow was discriminatory and unlawful in every respect. It violated freedom of assembly, freedom of opinion, and the right to equality of lesbian and gay people.
“The government of the Russian Federation must now ensure that the principles set out in the judgment are applied consistently by the authorities in the case of future marches by gay people or opposition groups.
“All too often, the Russian Federation merely pays fines imposed by the ECHR without paying any further heed to the principles set out in the rulings,” the German politician, who is himself openly gay, pointed out.
“The reprisals against Nikolay Alekseeev, who was recently illegally detained and then abducted in an attempt to ensure he withdrew his legal challenges in Strasbourg, must cease.
“A month ago, Moscow’s infamous mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, was sacked. Thanks to the ECHR, the “Luzhkov system” is now also on its way out. The suppression of human and civil rights, which is incompatible with the rule of law, must now be curbed step by step.
“Russia under Putin is a new type of dictatorship,” he suggested.
“Opening up this system is a lengthy process. For Russian citizens seeking justice, the European Court of Human Rights is the only source of hope. Now the ball is in the court of the Russian authorities and judiciary.
“Widespread nihilism with regard to human rights must come to an end at last. The President must show that his reform measures are more than just PR.
“The ruling has come as no surprise. The Court took the same decision on the CSD (Gay Pride) ban in Warsaw.
“It is therefore also a scandal that the Russian Federation and the City of Moscow have not heeded the Court’s past judgments and their own legislation on freedom of assembly,” he concluded.
Mr. Beck has attended several Gay Prides in Moscow, and was injured in two of them.
Respected veteran American gay journalist Doug Ireland said that Mr. Alekseev’s strategy for his activism was “brilliant” and “an inspiration”.
“Queers have always been at the forefront of social change, although that fact often goes ignored,” Mr. Ireland told UK Gay News by e-mail.
“What the valiant Nikolai Alekseev and his courageous comrades have done in winning this victory for freedom of speech and assembly in the ECHR has not only struck a major assault for gay rights, it has humiliated a liberticide regime and expanded the rights of ALL Russians.
“The persistence and patience of Kolya Alekseev, who has been targeted for the worst sort of police-state harassment and even kidnapped by the Putin regime for his gay activism, are an inspiration to human rights activists the world over.
“Moreover, his brilliant strategy of combining radical direct action in the streets with never-ending legal actions to insist that Russia adhere to its own constitutional guarantees of liberty as well as to those of the treaties to which it is signatory has been completely vindicated.
“Alekseev is a global hero in the human rights and gay rights fights,” Mr. Ireland concluded.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE COURT RULING (PDF file)
CLICK HERE TO READ THE COURT RULING (PDF file)
Victory in Strasbourg for Alekseev and Russian Gay Rights.
There were tears of joy in Moscow from Nikolai Alekseev and other Russian gay activists at lunchtime today
(October 21) as the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg published its ruling which unanimously upheld the complaints lodged with the Court over the banning of
three Moscow Gay Prides. (UK Gay News, October 21, 2010)