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Russia: 13 gays detained for protest votes

Mon 3 Dec 2007 In: International News View at Wayback

Russian police briefly detained 13 homosexuals overnight after they tried to cast protest ballots at a Moscow polling station where the city's homophobic mayor votes, the group's organiser said. The group were later released but were ordered to appear in court today. "Everyone has been freed," gay pride Moscow organiser Nikolai Alexeyev said, adding: "We have been ordered to appear in court Monday morning for attempting to organise an unauthorised action." Mr Alexeyev said the 13 gay protesters were trying to vote when "men from the special services pushed us outside the building and put us in a bus and drove us to a police station". The group arrived at the polling station wanting to "protest collectively" against Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and all parties running in the legislative, he said, citing how he wrote on his ballot, "No to homophobes, no to Luzhkov". Mr Luzhkov has twice prevented a gay pride parade from being staged in Moscow, condemning it as a "work of Satan". Today's parliamentary vote was expected to hand President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party a massive victory, helping him to retain power after leaving office next year.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Monday, 3rd December 2007 - 10:46am

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