1. “The Russian government is using this year’s Eurovision in Moscow as a gala showpiece to show the world how far the country has improved since the early 1990s,” Nikolai Alekseyev, the protest organizer, said in a statement.

    “However, what was witnessed this afternoon on the streets of Moscow shows the world just how little Russia has traveled when it comes to supporting fundamental human rights,” said Mr Alekseyev, who was among those detained.

    Several demonstrators were arrested almost immediately, Nikolai Bayev, one of the protest organizers said by telephone from the police station where he was being held. “Their goal,” he said, “was to cleanse the entire area of gays and lesbians.”


  2. Reports from Moscow say around ten Russian gay activists are still being detained after police broke up the Slavic Pride rally.

    The main organisers of the rally, Nikolay Alexeyev and Nikolay Bayev, have been charged with organising an illegal demonstration and disobeying police orders.

    This is the first time that gay activists have been charged with disobeying police orders. The activists now face fines and up to 15 days in jail.

    Mr Alexeyev and Mr Bayev will appear in court on 17 May 2009 at 9am. It seems likely that they will have to spend the next 15 days in jail.

    Fellow activists have been unable to get in contact with Mr Alexeyev after his arrest. The police has confiscated his phone.

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