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Police halt gay pride march in Dominican Republic

Video footage shows police officers arguing with marchers for using the Dominican flag at the gay pride event
Video footage shows police officers in the Dominican Republic arguing with gay pride marchers over their use of the country's flag.

Dominican Republic authorities repeatedly disrupted this year's gay pride march.

Video provided by Imagenes Dominicanas shows police officers forbidding marchers from carrying the Dominican flag in the 5th annual Dominican pride on 1 July (Sunday).

According to Imagenes Dominicanas, authorities at the beginning of the route told marchers they could not carry rainbow banners that had been fashioned to look like the country's flag.

Authorities reportedly confiscated the rainbow flags before returning them on condition they be kept out of sight.

Video footage shows authorities stopping marchers further down the route requesting they also put away traditional Dominican flags that marchers were waving around.

Activist David Ventura confronted the officers saying: 'It's exactly because we are citizens of this country that today we are reaffirming - in our own special way - the rights established by the constitution of the Republic that belong to us.

'Nobody can keep us from using our flag in an event that is meant to defend our human rights because it would be like teling is we are not Dominicans. We are Dominicans!' 

In the video, the police officer can not give a specific response as to why the marchers can't carry the country's flag. The officer eventually relents and allows the march to continue.

The march concluded with an evening concert where several performers and hundreds of supporters were in attendance. 

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