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Gay activists to protest Olympic inspections despite ban

Gay activists to protest Olympic inspections despite ban

LGBT activists in Russia are to defy a ban and protest at the last inspection by Olympic officials ahead of the Winter Games.

Moscow authorities have ruled the protest on 26 September cannot go ahead.

Campaigners have also applied to protest in Sochi – where the Olympics will be held – and are still awaiting a response from officials there, even though they have passed the official deadline for a reply.

Leading LGBT rights activist Nikolay Alexeyev told Gay Star News: ‘The denial [from Moscow] was based on the federal law banning “homosexual propaganda”.

‘They are using it to ban all protests wherever or whenever you apply. It is just being used as a pretext.’

Despite this, activists remain determined to still carry on their plans on 26 September.

The protest in Moscow will be held outside the headquarters of the Sochi Olympics organizing committee.

With international media likely to cover it, it could prove very embarrassing for both the Russian authorities and the International Olympic Committee.

Meanwhile Kostroma Regional Court have ruled their city’s administration were acting lawfully in banning two gay rallies in May.

Kostroma officials initially gave permission to the event, provided it moved to the suburbs but then banned it again, citing technical reasons.

The new decision goes against the historic verdict of the same court in March this year when they ruled bans of similar events in March 2012 were unlawful.

Alexeyev told us: ‘The case will now move to the European Court in the next month.’

He added he was confident of victory at the European Court of Human Rights.