Activists arrested during gay pride events in Moscow

May 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

MOSCOW, May 25 (UPI) -- At least 30 people were arrested Saturday during gay pride events in Moscow, police said.

Most were detained while attempting to hold a rally at City Hall in the Russian capital, RIA Novosti reported. Officials had denied a permit for an event there.

In Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, 50 activists were permitted to rally. Police kept a group of 400 anti-gay demonstrators away.

In Moscow, several people were arrested at the Duma, or parliament, building. Activists attempted to arrange consecutive pickets by single people there, which does not require a permit, but the demonstrators were arrested anyway.

One counter-protestor was arrested at the Duma for attacking two lesbian activists.

The Russian government has stepped up laws aimed at homosexuals recently. A bill creating the crime of "gay propaganda among minors" has been adopted in several regions, and a national version passed its first reading in the Duma this year.

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