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Civil Liberties Groups Challenge Moscow’s Gay Pride Ban ::

Reported by Trackitdown TID on May 22, 2006

Campaigners from gay rights organisation the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) have warned Moscow’s Mayor Yuri Luzhkov that he risks violating European laws if he goes ahead in banning next weekend’s Pride Parade In Russia.


The Moscow Mayor previously threatened to ‘severely suppress’ any demonstrators daring to take to the streets in response to threats by Muslim leader Grand Mufti Talgat to attack marchers for being ‘alternative sex criminals’.


EPOA pointed out that freedom of assembly is a basic right under European laws with authorities obliged to protect peaceful demonstrations rather than bowing to threats by extremists.


“We also stressed the positive aspects of LGBT pride events all over Europe which every year bring millions of people – not only LBGT people but also their heterosexual families, friends and supporters – into the streets to celebrate proudly the diversity of society”,  EPOA human rights co-ordinator Kurt Krickler,



“LGBT pride parades are a genuine benchmark to measure the openness and truly democratic and civilised nature of any society.”


Leading civil rights organisation Human Rights Watch also published a letter to the Mayor the previous week, after skinheads joined forces with religious activists to attack clubbers attending two gay clubs in the city.


"As Moscow's gays and lesbians prepare for their first gay pride parade,

Mayor Luzhkov faces a choice," said Scott Long in a press release issued by Human Rights Watch. "He can stand up to protect human rights, or endorse the views of extremists responsible for anti-gay violence."


Jonty Skrufff (