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Russian Police Break Up Unsanctioned LGBT Rally In Moscow

Police detained both queer and anti-LGBT activists.

Posted on May 30, 2015, at 12:47 p.m. ET

A group of LGBT activists were detained by police in Moscow on Saturday after attempting to hold a pride parade that had not been sanctioned by authorities.

Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

For the tenth year in a row, the campaigners' application to hold a pride rally was rejected by city authorities, Reuters reported.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

A 2013 law bans so-called "gay propaganda" in Russia, and the wide-ranging legislation has been used to stamp out public support for LGBT rights.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

On Saturday, activists who gathered in Tverskaya Square in central Moscow were met by riot police, as well as anti-LGBT protesters who attempted to disrupt the gathering and destroy pride flags.

Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

Photos also showed queer protesters being attacked and beaten.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

High profile LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev was among two people who had arrived on a quad bike, waving pride flags and letting off orange smoke, before being attacked.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

"We found out that today the LGBT community was planning to hold an unsanctioned rally and we wanted to help the law enforcement agencies stop it," Dmitry Enteo, head of the "God's Will" group, told AFP. "These are heinous anti-Christian values."

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Photos showed queer demonstrators recovering from pepper spray used against them by anti-LGBT activists.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Anti-LGBT activists, including Enteo, were also detained.

Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters

"It is lawlessness of Moscow's and Russian authorities -- what is happening here is a complete lawlessness," Alexeyev told Reuters as he was dragged into a police van. "We are just trying to hold a peaceful human rights action."

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Alexeyev, who has stirred controversy in the past with troubling social media outbursts, posted a defiant photo to Instagram after his arrest, alleging his finger had been broken in the melee.

Alexeyev said he and two other LGBT activists had been charged with illegal protest and disobeying police.

I am arrested until court on Monday with the accusation of illegal protest and disobedience of police orders! Two more activists with me!

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