27 May 2006, 15:40
Moscow police detain gay parade organizers (updated)
Moscow, May 27, Interfax - Nikolay Alexeyev, the organizer of a gay parade in Moscow, which was banned by the city government and a court, and Yevgenia Debryanskaya, a prominent lesbian movement activist, were detained by police on Saturday.
About ten more people with non-traditional sexual orientation were also brought to the police precinct.
Alexeyev was detained near Alexander's Garden during an attempt to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an Interfax correspondent reported from the scene.
Debryanskaya and about a dozen more people were detained later near the Moscow city hall building in front of the monument to Yury Dolgoruky, where would-be gay parade participants moved later, a law enforcement source told Interfax.
OMON anti-riot task force servicemen have now cordoned-off the square in front of the monument to Yury Dolgoruky and are shoving those protesting the gay parade from the square.
It was reported earlier that, after the parade organizers approached Alexander's Garden, which is located outside the Kremlin wall, opponents to the action started chanting, "Sodom Won't Pass Here!"
Among the gay parade's opponents were up to 150 people, including members of the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon-Carriers, the Russian All-National Union, and the Movement Against Illegal Immigration.
OMON servicemen formed a line and shoved the crowd back toward the History Museum.
A law enforcement source also told Interfax that police detained some 25 alleged skinheads on Chistoprudny Boulevard at about 1:00 p.m., presuming that they were also going to protest the unauthorized gay parade.
The Moscow city government earlier banned a gay procession from Myasnitskaya Street to Lubyanka Square. Moscow's Tverskoi Court on Friday upheld the ban.