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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

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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