May 28, 2011 / 12:59 PM / 8 years ago

Dozens detained in failed Russian gay pride march

Policemen, dressed in plain clothes, detain gay rights activist Daniel Choi (C) near the Kremlin during a gay pride parade, unsanctioned by the city authorities, in central Moscow May 28, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Dozens of people were detained by police in the Russian capital Moscow on Saturday after gay rights activists and their opponents clashed at the sixth straight attempt to hold a gay pride parade.

Gay rights activists had hoped that Moscow’s new mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, would finally allow parades after years of being refused permission by the authorities.

Gay rights activists who gathered near the Kremlin walls were met by far right groups who attacked them as soon as they raised their rainbow flags and posters. The police swiftly intervened.

A separate meeting of gay activists near Moscow’s government was broken up by police after about 20 minutes.

Russian news agencies said about 40 people had been detained.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, although much of Moscow’s gay scene is still largely underground because prejudice against gays runs deep.

In October the European Court of Human Rights fined Russia for banning homosexual parades in Moscow, in what gay rights activists described as a historic victory.

Reporting by Mikhail Voskresensky; Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Elizabeth Piper

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