The Dzerzhinsk regional court has thrown out the arrests made by St Petersburg, Russia’s police during the recent gay pride parade3. The judge called the arrests illegal and that the people marching in the parade had been exercising their right to assembly.
The organizers of the Pride event had informed the police that they were planning the event, but the Russian police claimed that the assembly was unauthorized and arrested everyone attending the parade. The arrests were accompanied by the usual run of police brutality.
The court stated that the arrests were baseless because it is “impossible to declare an event unauthorised in the middle of it happening”. Igor Kochetkov, the chair of the Russian LGBT Network, stated that “Instead of fulfilling their duty to protect the rights of the citizens for free assembly and restraining the aggressive behaviour of nationalists, the police dispersed the meeting, themselves becoming violators of the law.”
The overturning of the arrests comes as a bright spot in what has been a dismal run of news for the Russian LGBT Community. Russian politicians including President Vladimir Putin have been attacking the LGBT Community in Russia as a way to bolster their political standing. Recently, they passed bills banning the discussion of LGBT issues and banning foreign LGBT couples from adopting Russian children.
Russia is just the latest nation to push anti-LGBT legislation in an attempt to bolster the political power of the local parties.