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Gay activist badly beaten as Russian city bans pride

Syktyvkar's authorities, capital of Russia's republic of Komi, have banned a gay pride march as it ‘promoted homosexuality’, while its organizer was badly beaten
Authorities in Syktyvkar, the capital of Russia's republic of Komi, have banned a gay pride march as it ‘promoted homosexuality’, while its organizer, Artem Kalinin, was badly beaten

The Syktyvkar city administration, capital of the Russian republic of Komi announced that its banning a planned gay-pride parade.

In a statement released yesterday (25 March) the authorities explained that the ban on pride, which was planned for 31 March, was put in place in response to ‘requests from the city's religious and public organizations not to allow public events promoting homosexual values’.

It also stated that Syktyvkar’s Mayor Ivan Pozdeyev requested that city lawmakers prepare a draft law banning any similar events.

The authorities said the organizers are banned from holding pride in the city center, however, the march can be held in park away from it and the public.

Organizers, said they intend to go ahead with the pride event despite receiving death threats from religious and right wing hate groups.

On the same day, while speaking on local TV live, chair of the local LGBT group and organizer of pride, Artem Kalinin was badly beaten by Alex Kolegov, Syktyvkar’s neo-Nazi leader, in front of the journalists.

When Kalinin referred during the interview to Kolegov as a Nazi, the latter pushed him to the ground and severely beat him.

Journalists rushed to pull Kolegov off Kalinin, who was badly bruised.

‘This incident will not change my decision’ said Kalinin, ‘We are going to hold pride in spite of everything’.

Kalinin and the witnesses reported the attack as well as the death threats he received.

However, the police did not arrest the assailant.

Commenting on the news, Nikolai Alekseev, co founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, condemned the attack.

He also stated the Russia continues to defy international organizations calls on it to respect human rights and freedom of the press and allow LGBT related events to take place.

He said: ‘This is another proof of full disregard of Russian authorities of the European Court verdict in the case of Moscow Prides by Russian authorities’.

Gay pride parades and LGBT related events are banned and/or outlawed in over nine cities and regions, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In January, the Russian State Duma approved a bill in its first reading that would outlaw ‘homosexual propaganda’ nationwide. 

Watch here Kalinin being attacked:

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