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LGBT Protesters Bring Charges Against Police

Published: January 23, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Police arrest LGBT rights activists at the Oct. 12, 2013 International Coming Out Day rally.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Ten LGBT rights activists are suing the police over what they consider to have been illegal detentions during an attempted International Coming Out Day rally in October. The plaintiffs are seeking 250,000 rubles ($6,665) in damages each, LGBT rights organization Vykhod (Coming Out) reported. The suits were filed on Jan. 14.

The organizers of the rally, Kirill Kalugin and Natalya Tsymbalova, also filed lawsuits against the police for failing to provide security for the participants or ensuring that authorized rally go forward as planned.

The rally was due to take place on Oct. 12 but was called off due to the presence of anti-gay protesters who blocked the entrance to the designated site on the Field of Mars, where the rally had been scheduled to be held. Police were seen refusing to assist the LGBT activists in reaching the site. Several LGBT activists were assaulted by Orthodox and nationalist radicals as they tried to reach the enclosure reserved for protests.

You may also be interested in: Coming Out Day Ends in Fights, Arrests

Twenty-five LGBT rights activists and 40 anti-gay protesters were detained and taken to police stations.

Following the arrests, 15 activists were charged with disorderly conduct, while ten were released within three hours without charges being pressed.

According to Ksenia Kirichenko, who heads Vykhod's Legal Aid program, seven of the ten activists who filed the lawsuits were acquitted of all charges, while three were found guilty and received fines of 500 to 700 rubles ($15-$21).

"Our main demand is that the police's actions, primarily the detentions, be declared illegal because those arrested people essentially detained for nothing and accused of crimes they did not commit," Kirichenko said.

You may also be interested in: Anna Anisimova: ‘Coming Out’ For Human Rights

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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