Belarus gay activist arrested

by Rex Wockner

Belarusian gay leader Sergey Praded was arrested Oct. 11 in Minsk while attempting to stage a picket for International Coming Out Day.

He was held overnight and fined 700,000 rubles ($233), the equivalent of a month's average salary in the nation.

Praded and activist Sergey Androsenko have a case pending with the United Nations Human Rights Committee stemming from their arrests last June outside the Iranian Embassy in Minsk, where they sought to draw attention to the plight of LGBT Iranians.

They say their right to freedom of assembly was violated by state authorities.

Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe, so the activists cannot appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which is where other cases have ended up when gays' legal rights have been trampled in Eastern Europe.


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