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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Russian Activists Win in European Court


By Julie Bolcer-

Nikolai Alekseev
In a unanimous ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has uupheld complaints from Russian gay activists including Nikolai Alekseev that challenged the banning of three gay pride parades in Moscow.
According to UK Gay News, the Thursday ruling from the Chamber of the Court held that Russia must pay Alekseev 12,000 euros for damages and 17,510 euros for costs and expenses.
“In the ruling, the Court observed ‘that the main reason for the bans on the gay marches had been the authorities’ disapproval of demonstrations which, they considered, promoted homosexuality,” reported UK Gay News. “In particular, the Court could not disregard the strong personal opinions publicly expressed by the Moscow mayor and the undeniable link between those statements and the bans. Consequently, the Court found that, as the Government had not justified their bans in a way compatible with the Convention requirements, Mr Alekseyev had suffered discrimination because of his sexual orientation.”
Russia can appeal the ruling, which is not final, to the Grand Chamber, but Alekseev still called it a “major victory.”
Last month, Alekseev said that he was kidnapped from the Moscow airport and pressured by Russian authorities who wanted him to withdraw his complaint from the court.


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