Posted by: gaybatumi | July 15, 2010

St Petersburg Court Upheld the Ban of the City’s First Gay Pride Attempt

Organizers will appeal the decision up to the European Court of Human Rights.

On July 13, a judge of the Smolninskiy District Court of St Petersburg dismissed the complaint against the ban of St Petersburg Gay Pride.

The Pride organizers introduced their complaint to Court on June 24, two days before their planned action. The Pride went ahead despite the ban and five activists were arrested and charged for committing an administrative offense of taking part in an unsanctioned rally.

“We did not have any legal remedy before our planned march as our complaint is only considered more than two weeks after our action” Maria Efremenkova, the Pride chief organizer told the Court.

“Prior to appealing to Court, the city authorities denied all the routes we applied for our march, trying to gain time by always asking us to propose different options while it is not the responsibility of the organizers to offer any alternative” she added.

Three times city authorities refused the organizers of the St Petersburg march in support of tolerance and respect for human rights and freedoms of LGBT people – known as Gay Pride – the right to hold their event, offering them to change the location of their action. However, none of the proposed routes ever satisfied the Committee on matters of law, order and security of the city.

On June 26, two dozens of activists took to the streets and marched in the coutryard of the world famous Hermitage museum to protest against homophobia and discrimination against sexual minorities.

After reading the court verdict, St Petersburg gay pride lawyer Dmitry Bartenev, said that the decision will be appealed in the City court of St. Petersburg and if necessary, taken up to the European Court of Human Rights.

It is expected that by the end of this year, the Strasbourg Court delivers its decision on the legality of a ban of three gay prides in Moscow – in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In the last years, Russian Courts upheld the bans on Gay Pride attempts in Moscow, Tambov and Ryazan.

St Petersburg will host the third Slavic Pride on June 25, 2011.


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