Over 100 gay rights activists have held a flash-mob demonstration in the Russian city of St. Petersburg to observe International Day Against Homophobia and to call attention to claims of gay persecution and torture in Chechnya.
Authorities routinely deny LGBT activists permission to hold rallies in Russia under its draconian anti-gay bill banning the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” Unauthorized gatherings often end in arrests and attacks by thugs and Orthodox religious counter protests . But the Wednesday evening demonstration ended without arrests or trouble.
In 2015 after signing the anti-gay bill into law Vladmir Putin insisted “We have no persecution at all. People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas. I personally have awarded them medals.”
The St. Petersburg demonstrators called on Western governments to grant asylum to Chechen gays.
As it was reported by this website yesterday. The United States have been denying visa applications from gay men attempting to flee persecution in Chechnya.