The incident confirmed fears that Russia would begin cracking down on LGBTQ rights again after the World Cup.
Russian police have detained LGBTQ activists in St. Petersburg after they held a Pride march in the city. 60 people had assembled in the city’s Palace Square after their initial request for the march was denied.
Aleksei Nazarov, one of the co-organisers of the event told the AFP that 30 people had been arrested, and that he himself had been taken into a police van. “Everyone else has been taken to a police station,” he said.
He said that the march simply called for LGBTQ rights to be respected, and that they waved Pride flags in the city centre. He added that police targeted those who had the “most colourful flags and clothes.”
One activist who was present, known as Sobi, told Euronews: “I am very tired of the discrimination and the thought that I’m not allowed to walk out and say I feel bad about it. My country doesn’t want to hear that I feel bad, it doesn’t care.”
Russia has some of the, if not the, worst LGBTQ rights in the developed world.
During the country’s recent Presidential election, an advert ran which warned people that they would have to live with a gay person if they didn’t vote. And a recent poll found that 83% of Russians consider gay sex to be “reprehensible.”
In 2013, Vladimir Putin signed into effect a gay propaganda rule, which banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual orientations to minors