Activists target Russian gay law at G20 protest

A demonstrator holds a poster depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with make-up as he protests against homophobia and repression against gays in Russia, outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Madrid on September 3, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/CURTO DE LA TORRE)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia: Spaced out along St. Petersburg's main thoroughfare, about a dozen human rights activists staged individual protests to attract the attention of leaders of the world's biggest economies to human rights violations in Russia.

Activist Iosiph Skakovsky said they held individual protests because mass protests are often banned or disrupted by police.

Activist Natalya Tsymbalova was protesting "discrimination of sexual minorities, falsification of elections, pressure on NGOs, violation of the freedom of public assembly."

Her handmade poster said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that gays are not discriminated against was a lie. "There is discrimination. Speak out for Russia!"

A new Russian law banning gay propaganda aimed at minors has drawn international criticism.

Police checked the documents of individual protesters but did not interfere in their actions.





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