LGBT activists protest over human rights violations during the Olympic torch relay in St Petersburg

posted 30 Oct 2013, 12:28 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 Oct 2013, 12:47 ]
28 October 2013 

Source: (info
LGBT activists attempted to unfurl a rainbow flag in front of the Senate and Synod during the St Petersburg stage of the Olympic torch relay on 27th October. 

Rosbalt reports that the Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, was running with the torch at the time. Law and order officials did not allow activists to fully unfurl the flag, and confiscated it.

The activists meanwhile, repeatedly tried to retrieve the flag which, according to them, is a ‘rarity’, but police refused.

LGBT activist Kirill Kalugin explained to a Rosbalt correspondent that the police said the activists would be able to retrieve the flag from police station No. 1 on completion of the torch marathon.

The LGBT activists intended to voice their protest against the holding of the Winter Olympic games in Russia. “We believe that the Olympic games should not be held in a country where the government tramples upon the basic values of freedom and human rights. In Russia, people are being persecuted for their beliefs, and opposition leaders and human rights defenders are subjected to repression. An independent judiciary and democratic elections have been destroyed. Freedom of the press and freedom of assembly have been limited”, the protestors said.