Belarusian Court Fines, Releases Participants Arrested at Slavic Gay Pride

MINSK, May 17, 2010 - The seven Belarusian and Russian gay activists, who spent the weekend in police custody follow their arrest during Saturday's banned Slavic Gay Pride march, have been released.

But a court in the Belarus capital ordered each to pay a fine of 17,500 Belarus rouble fine (about $US 6.00 or ?4.00).

Among those arrested by the police were two of the St. Petersburg Gay Pride organisers, Alexander Sheremetyev and Dmintry Milkovo who joined 20 other Russian who travelled to Minsk to support Slavic Pride

Next year, Slavic Pride will be staged in St. Petersburg on a date to be announced in mid-May.

A Pride spokesperson told UK Gay News it is was hoped to stage next year's event "around the time that International Day against Homophobia is commemorated".

The Russian-Belarusian Organising Committee approved the candidature of St Petersburg to host Slavic Gay Pride following it's the approval of an application fron the St. Petersburg group Equality.

Maria Efremenkova, the leader of Equality and chair of St. Petersburg Gay Pride, said: "~It's an honor for our group to be asked to organise next year's event. We will do everything possible to make it a success and attract the maximum attention to the problem of violations of the rights of sexual minorities in Russia and Belarus".

The Slavic Gay Pride was founded by Russian and Belarusian gay activists from the LGBT Human Rights Projects GayRussia.Ru and GayBelarus.By in November 2008 in Minsk. Their first Pride was in Moscow last May during the Eurovision Song Contest finals - and the planned peaceful march was banned.


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