Russian police arrest 25 gay rights activists in St Petersburg
The activists gathered in Palace Square in defiance of a city ban against their protest
Russian police have arrested and detained 25 gay rights activists after they held an LGBT pride rally in Palace Square, an iconic central landmark in the city, on Saturday.
Whilst there was no serious violence between the police and the campaigners, many who were unfurling flags and holding banners or placards were seen being forcibly dragged into a police van by Russian officers.
The city had officially denied the request of the LGBT activists to hold a rally so the protestors each demonstrated alone within the square in a bid to avoid the event being called a gathering.
One man, pictured in front of the famous Alexander column, held a rainbow sign that read: “My mum loves me, my dad loves me, my friends love me, why can not you?”
Another activist, who gave her name 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."
The protests were part of pride celebrations around the world this weekend, most notably in Brighton where around 300,000 people attended.
Russia passed a law in 2013 banning what they term gay "propaganda" and only last month detained Brit Peter Tatchell after he protested in support of gay rights outside the Kremlin.