*Sergei Androsenko and Nicolai Alekseev (Photo from recent Press Conference, NOT TODAY)
14:53: A short-lived March took place with 40 participants … violent crack down from anti riot police.
14:55: “A big mess,” a participant is reporting via SMS.
15:08 Minsk had its gay pride march. For just 10 minutes, 40 Belarusians and Russians waived a 12 meters long rainbow flag for a short march of approximately 200 meters. They were at first met by a large group of journalists, photographers and TV crew. But when they reached the first crossing point, they were trapped by several vans of anti-riot police. Suddenly, the doors of the vans opened and anti-riot officers ran towards the participants. “I never saw anything of the kind” said Nikolai Alekseev by mobile phone. “They were brutal and violent” he added. Another participant who did not want to be named said: “It was like a group of wild dogs”. The march ended with most of the participants being arrested and violently beaten. A few managed to escape but the police ran after them.
15:45: Between five and ten participants are reported to be detained by the police, including Sergey Androsenko, chief organiser of Slavic Pride, and Alexander Sheremet, one of the St. Petersburg Pride organiser. Local activists are working to provide them with legal assistance.
15:55: Nicolai Alekseev: “I’ve never run so fast in my life”. (Russian co-organiser of Slavic Gay Pride,)
he participants who were not been arrested are still under shock. One can feel that they are proud of what they did today, but you can also feel the stress in their voices after the violent police crack down they suffered.
16:07: Three pride march participants are reported to have been arrested at a nearby cafe AFTER the event.
16:10: 19 year-old Sergei Androsenko, leaders of Belarussian Initiative of Young Gays is among the three (some reports say four) who were arrested in the cafe. They were taken from the table by the police and removed from the cafe via the backdoor.
This is just HORRIBLE!
I will be updating the events unfolding in Belarius throughout the day…….