Gay activists beaten and arrested in Russia | Russia | Guardian Unlimited:
Riot police used violence to break up a gay rights demonstration in Moscow yesterday and arrested several European parliamentarians in what critics say is the latest violation of human rights in Russia.
A group of gay rights activists came under attack from neo-Nazi thugs when they tried to present a petition asking Moscow's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, to lift a ban on a Gay Pride parade. He has previously dubbed gay rallies "satanic". Witnesses said riot police watched as far-right skinheads chanting "death to homosexuals" beat up several activists.
The police failed to arrest the skinheads but detained several of the Europeans - including the German MP Volker Beck, a member of the Green party, and the radical Italian MEP Marco Capatto. Riot police threw Mr Capatto into a police van. "Why don't you protect us?" he shouted.
"It was absolutely shocking," the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Guardian yesterday. "The police stood there while people knocked me to the ground and kicked me. Four or five neo-Nazis attacked me. The police watched. At a certain point the police then arrested me and let my neo-Nazi attackers walk free."