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October 3, 2011

IconUnusual arrests follow LGBT rights clash in Moscow

Around 40 people were detained in the Russian capital at the weekend following a confrontation between LGBT demonstrators and a homophobic counter-protest.

In an unusual move, police confiscated homophobic placards and arrested many of the counter-demonstrators after a number of them threw rotten tomatoes and gave Nazi salutes. LGBT activists were also detained.

“About 40 people were arrested,” declared a Moscow police spokesperson. “Tomatoes and a paintball gun were seized from them.”

LGBT demonstrations are commonly banned in Moscow, but on this occasion an “Equality March” was officially sanctioned by authorities. The protesters voiced their support for other issues such as women’s rights, according to BBC Russia.

A number of reports indicate that the march was dispersed after protesters announced their support for LGBT rights with banners and chants.

LGBT marches and demonstrations are frequently banned by authorities in Russia. Last week, the Russian province of Arkhangelsk adopted a draft law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality.

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Ruth Pearce

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