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Photos Show Activists Being Attacked and Arrested at Gay Pride Parade in Moscow

Russian authorities have banned the annual parade, and images from this year’s event show an angry mob attacking demonstrators before cops started hauling people away.
Photos via LiveJournal/Philipp Kireev

A group of LGBT activists were beaten and arrested while attempting to hold a demonstration in Moscow on Saturday.

Photos from the scene in Russia's capital show demonstrators holding signs or flags being attacked by an angry mob, including images that appear to show a man being punched in the face and later escorted away in handcuffs by cops.

The arrests took place during Moscow's 10th Gay Pride Parade, an event that officials have banned every year of its existence. In previous years, police quickly dispersed the demonstrations, and again this year protesters were quickly arrested and hauled into waiting vans.


Around 30 nationalist counter-demonstrators threw eggs at the gay rights activists, and several of the counter-protesters were also held by police following the violence, according to AFP.

Activist Nikolai Alexeyev, pictured below wearing a blue shirt, wrote on Twitter he was arrested and injured after police grabbed him.

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Arrested and beaten at 10th Moscow Pride. We are arrested! They probably broke my left hand finger. — Nikolai Alexeyev (@n_alexeyev)May 30, 2015

He later wrote he was being transported from the police station to the hospital for care.

Last week, Moscow officials warned the activists that they would not be allowed to march.

"We have warned the organizers that the demonstration will not be authorized," the state-operated Ria Novosti agency quoted mayoral spokesman Alexey Mayorov as saying, according to AFP.

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Photos via Livejournal/Philipp Kireev

In 2013, Russia passed a series of laws criminalizing "homosexual propaganda" being shown to minors. The country has been the subject of intense scrutiny for its repression of the LGBT community. According to Human Rights Watch, an increase in violent attacks on homosexuals has resulted in little action being taken by the government.

"Violence experienced by LGBT people in Russia is unmistakably motivated by homophobia, but the authorities deliberately ignore that these are hate crimes and fail to protect victims," said Tanya Cooper, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Follow Gillian Mohney on Twitter: @gillianmohney