Several LGBT activists have been detained on Nevsky Prospekt in the center of St. Petersburg for raising a rainbow flag during a May Day procession and chanting “Kadyrov to The Hague,” reported media outlet Fontanka on Monday, specifying that the activists had joined in with a groups of feminists.
According to the news source, other LGBT activists were reported to have been a part of a group marching in support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s movement Open Russia, whose United Kingdom-based namesake was recently declared “undesirable” in Russia.
Various slogans could be heard and seen during the event, including “Russia will be free,” “[We have had] enough of you,” and “Russia without Putin”.
According to Fontanka, another 10 LGBT activists who had lain down on the roadway of Anichkov Bridge in St. Petersburg have been detained, as well. Another activist stood sprinkling them with soil.
State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov tried to prevent the movement of activist groups along the Nevsky Prospekt on May Day. Local police led him and several of his supporters back to the sidewalk. Police also asked the demonstrators not to succumb to provocation. Procession participants also chanted “Milonov is St. Petersburg’s shame.”
On April 1, Novaya Gazeta reported that, in February and March 2017, more than 100 people were detained on suspicion of homosexuality in Chechnya. According to the publication, detainees were kept in secret prisons, tortured, and forced to denounce other homosexuals; three people were killed. Citing their own sources, Radio Liberty, Meduza, and The Guardian also reported on the persecution of gays in Chechnya. Chechen authorities accused Novaya Gazeta of libel and claimed that there are no homosexuals in the republic.
Meduza has published the monologue of a gay man who had to flee Chechnya.