2007-05-28 10:41:00

Moscow authorities applaud police performance during attempted gay parade

Moscow, May 28, Interfax - Law enforcers acted resolutely and politely during the illegal attempt to hold a gay parade in Moscow, deputy head of the city administration press service Mikhail Solomentsev told Interfax.

"We must point to the clear, coordinated and polite actions of the police that acted strictly in the framework of law," he said.

He said that the police prevented an unauthorized rally of activists of gay movement who hoped to organize it despite the ban in Tverskaya square.

He said that that at about 11:30 a.m. a group of journalists gathered in the square waiting to see what would happen.

"Several individuals opposed to the plans of a gay parade hoped to mix with the journalists but police officers did not let them to the square," Solomentsev said. At 12:15 p.m. the representatives of sexual minorities who had planned to hold a rally arrived at the square on six cars, among them member of the German Bundestag Volker Beck, member of the State Duma Alexey Mitrofanov and a member of the legislative assembly of Bashkortostan Edward Murzin.

"Upon arrival they immediately approached journalists but several opponents to the gay movement managed to remain in the crowd and tried to attack the gays. For instance, one of them attacked a 55-year-old British citizen," Solomentsev said.

He added that the police prevented a collision and detained the attacker. He said that a total of 30 persons were detained in the city center for various breaches of conduct, 18 of them members of the gay movement.

"The attempted attack on gay activists once again proves that the city authorities had done right by prohibiting the parade and thus preventing bad clashes between the opponents who are numerous in this country and advocates of sexual minorities," Solomentsev said.

He said that the city government will continue preventing such illegal actions whoever may try to stage them, including activists of the gay movement.