Moscow Gay Pride: Cappato and other Members of the Radical Party attacked by a mob and arrested by the police while trying to deliver a letter to the Mayor

Sunday 27 May, at 10:15 am in Moscow, in Tverskaja street, in front of the offices of the Mayor of the Russian Capital, several representatives of the NonViolent Radical Party have been attacked by a group of provocators, who were chanting slogans at a group of human rights activists that wanted to deliver a letter to Moscow’s first citizen on his prohibition of the Russian Gay Pride. The police, instead of protecting the pro-gay pride demonstratos, promptly arrested several of them. Among those stopped by the Russian special forces: Marco Cappato, Radical Member of the European Parliament; Nikolai Alexeiev, Member of the NonViolent Radical Party and coordinator of the Moscow Gay Pride; Nikolay Kramov and Sergiey Konstantinov Russian Members of the Radical Party and Ottavio Marzocchi, Member of the General Council of the Radical Party and official at the EP.

At 1200, Marco Cappato called Radio Radicale from a Police bus. “We are here with a group of Russian human rights activists that have been arrested like us while we were trying to deliver a letter signed by 50 MEPs to the Mayor of Moscow”. At 1230, Cappato called again Radio Radicale from the police station in which he was being held with other fellow demonstrators, “In the end the permit for the Gay Pride never arrived, and we only wanted to deliver the letter to the Mayor. The police cordoned us off, but did not protect us from the attacks of other groups that were chanting homophobic slogans in a counter-demonstration and throwing objects and eggs at us”. Cappato, who was in Moscow with a delegation of MEPs of the Alliance of Liberal-Democrats for Europe, also said that “I have personally seen that some of the counter-demonstrators, before starting to throw things at us, conferred with the police that was supposed to defend us. When I saw that one of the provocators started to kick Ottavio Marzocchi, I started to shout at the police, asking them to protect us from the attackers. In a matter of moments, I was taken away by the anti-mob police”. A few minutes after Cappato’s arrest also Mr. Marzocchi was taken to the same police bus and eventually to the police station.