Police arrest gay rights campaigners

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The Independent Online

The latest attempt by Russia's gay activists to hold a protest in Moscow ended with fights and arrests yesterday as protesters holding rainbow flags and posters were seized by riot police and bundled into waiting trucks.

Radical Orthodox Christians also arrived to berate, and in some cases attack, gay activists. They shouted: "We will not allow Sodom here" and wore T-shirts with slogans claiming that gay people spread Aids. Several Christian activists were detained, but the police seemed set on arresting gay protesters.

"This is my country, and I want to live here peacefully," said a woman, before being dragged away by riot policemen.

Russian agencies said around 40 people were detained. Most were released shortly afterwards.