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Russian LGBT Activists Detained After Chechnya Protests

AP Photo / Musa Sadulayev

Several LGBT activists were detained on St. Petersburg’s central Nevsky Prospekt for waving rainbow flags and chanting “Kadyrov to The Hague,” the Fontanka news agency reported.

Their slogan is a reference to the ongoing persecution of gays in the Chechen republic, headed by strongman Ramzan Kadyrov. 

According to Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, 100 people have been detained for being gay. Many were reportedly tortured in the secretive prisons while three are believed to have died in detention.

The protesters also took part in a rally on Saturday led by the Open Russia organization, rallying behind the slogan “Russia without Putin.”

The LGBT activists, along with a column of feminists, attempted to confront State Duma Deputy Vitaly Milonov – a politician known for his anti-gay political perspectives. Participants of the rally chanted “Milonov is the shame of Petersburg.”

Police responded by asking protesters to avoid taking provocative actions.

Chechen authorities reject charges of persecution of homosexuals, arguing that there are no gays in the republic.

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