Police in Moscow said on Friday they will enforce the city's ban on a protest by gay rights campaigners in the Russian capital.
Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's leading gay rights activist and head of the Moscow Gay Pride organization, has said activists will try to hold the city's first gay rights rally on May 28, despite a ban on the event.
The Moscow police said on Friday they would cut short any "unlawful actions."
The request to hold the rally was rejected earlier this month by the city government, which restated its position on Wednesday. The city received complaints from religious groups, ultra-nationalists and the Moscow City Parent Committee over the application and warned that such a protest could trigger violence.
Former Moscow mayor, Yury Luzkhov, who was in power for 18 years before being dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev in September last year, famously described gay pride parade as "satanic."
The capital's gay community expressed the hope that a parade would be permitted by new Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, but in February he said gay parades were unacceptable in Moscow.
Last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia had violated the rights of gay activists by refusing to allow them to openly protest, and ordered the government to pay a fine and damages amounting to about $40,000.
MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti)
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- dwmusicLet the public become educated with facts, not ignorance19:54, 27/05/2011So long as the demonstrators themselves behave peacefully and follow Jesus Christ's admonition to not retaliate when physically attacked by the religious demonstrators, and so long as the police arrest only those attacking and not those being attacked, and the whole event is videoed and internationally broadcast live, then I see absolutely no reason for this parade not to go ahead.
I realise how big an ask that is, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The Council's specious concern for the safety of the demonstrators at the hands of the attacking religious could be allayed by providing the sort of police presence they have in the past successfully imposed in the course of preventing the general population from accessing freedom of speech.
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