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North Caucasian cities say no to pride parades

14 March 2017

The first pride parade in the North Caucasus, organised by Russian queer activists, may not go ahead. The authorities of several North Caucasian capitals denied permission to official requests to hold such events on 20 March.

Request sent to Nalchik City Authorities (OC Media)

The authorities in Nalchik, in Kabardino-Balkaria, Cherkessk, in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, and Stavropol, in Stavropol Krai, refused to allow the pride events to be held. Nalchik’s authorities’ official explanation was that the parade would pass in front of the court building, which is prohibited by law.

‘Kabardino-Balkaria is a territory of traditional family values, where people have for centuries cared for national customs and culture’, a source in the Nalchik City Council told OC Media.

The administrations of the cities of Stavropol and Cherkessk immediately rejected the request. They presented no reason for the refusal to the organisers of the event.

The City Council of Maykop, in Adygea, have yet to make a decision. By law, they are required to respond within 10 days.

The authors of the requests are well-known queer activists Vladimir Klimov and Nikolay Alekseyev. Both are active supporters of Russia’s queer community and on earlier occasions have supported holding mass queer events in various regions of Russia. According to them, the aim of the pride parades — each of which was envisioned for up to 300 people — was to ‘attract the attention of society and the authorities to the human rights problems of people of a homosexual orientation, homophobia, transphobia, fascism, and xenophobia’.

Queer activist Nikolay Alekseyev is planning to appeal the decisions of the authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, and Stavropol Krai in court.

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