Dozens of Russian activists with disabilities and mental disorders have been reportedly violently arrested at a May Day parade in Moscow on Tuesday.
Russia’s mental disorder activists planned to take part in the annual Spring and Labor Day procession with a re-enactment of the global “Mad Pride” mental illness awareness movement. Members were seen carrying signs that read “I know my diagnosis, do you?” and “you have a right to know your diagnosis.”
“People were pushed, kicked, dragged along the sidewalk,” activist Yekaterina Nenasheva wrote on Facebook. “Some have disabilities, many of the detainees have psychological and mental disorders,” she added.
A total of 25 activists have been arrested and told that “the action does not correspond with the purpose of the event,” the police-monitoring website OVD-Info reported.
Footage on social media depicted OMON riot police and Interior Ministry officers folding signs and escorting people outside the Kremlin walls to the sounds of jubilant announcers over the PA system in the background.
Police estimated that 130,000 trade union members participated in this year’s May Day procession across Red Square.
Moscow police detained 19 leftist and vegan activists during similar proceedings last year, eventually releasing everyone without pressing charges.