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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

Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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