Russian police arrested at least 30 activists in central Moscow on Saturday at a gay pride rally to mark 20 years since homosexuality was decriminalised. Police officers pounced on the gay campaigners moments after they unfurled banners and rainbow-coloured flags outside the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, on Saturday afternoon. Several protesters were attacked by Orthodox Christian vigilantes. The arrests were made outside the Duma and the Moscow mayor's office where the rally ended. More than 10 regional legislatures across Russia have passed similar laws which have been widely condemned. More than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia remains deeply conservative and independent opinion polls show that about three-quarters of the population support suppressing public displays of homosexuality.
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Riot police used violence to break up a gay rights demonstration in Moscow yesterday and arrested several European parliamentarians in what critics say is the latest violation of human rights in Russia. A group of gay rights activists came under attack from neo-Nazi thugs when they tried to present a petition asking Moscow's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, to lift a ban on a Gay Pride parade. He has previously dubbed gay rallies "satanic". Witnesses said riot police watched as far-right skinheads chanting "death to homosexuals" beat up several activists. Riot police threw Mr Capatto into a police van. Four or five neo-Nazis attacked me.
BBC Sport (International version)
Human rights groups have voiced severe concern and sought ways to help after activists said dozens of gay people had been jailed following raids by the authorities in Azerbaijan in recent weeks. Javid Nabiyev, president of Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, said in a Facebook video that police had held detainees for up to 30 days and forced them to give the names and addresses of gay and transgender acquaintances. Nabiyev, who is based in Germany, said some right-wing political leaders had called for a crackdown on LGBT people, contending that they were "sources of immorality and dangerous diseases" and "have been cursed by God. Local activists said at least 50 gay and transsexual people had been detained in police raids of private homes, subway stations, and LGBT-friendly clubs, pubs, and bars in Baku over the past two weeks.
Handcuffed and helpless, Yevgeny Makarov is held face down on a desk as more than a dozen prison officers take it in turn to beat him. The assault took place more than a year ago at Prison Number One in Yaroslavl, km miles north of Moscow. The victim's complaint was rejected at the time; an investigator concluded staff had used "appropriate" force.