25 LGBT Activists Arrested in Russia Over Pride

City authorities in St. Petersburg, Russia dismissed community requests to have a pride parade, so 60 LGBT activists rallied together instead. Nearly half of them were arrested.

According to Reuters, police detained activists holding rainbow flags or posters and placed them inside a police bus.

In 2013, Russia passed a gay propaganda law that stopped distribution of material promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, according to The Moscow Times and translations from Russian law.

Russia will hold the 2018 World Cup, but many of the LGBT community fear their safety. A Russian Militia said they will patrol alongside police to stop gay men from exhibiting public displays of affection.

In response, The Football Supporters’ Federation encouraged LGBT fans to avoid showing affection in order to stay safe, but “advised there would be no ban on rainbow colours in Russia and fans would not be victimised for expressing feelings, although it is widely believed this could depend on individual circumstances.”

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