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courtesy of Twitter/@RemyBonny

Russian police have arrested 25 activists at a gay rights rally

The Pride protest was held despite being unauthorised by the city authorities

Gay rights activists held unsanctioned protests in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Saturday, after their request to stage a Pride parade was turned down by authorities. Russian police detained around 25 activists who had gathered in the city’s Palace Square in defiance of the ban.

The Pride celebrations – which coincided with similar celebrations across the world – involved one man holding a rainbow-emblazoned placard that read: “My mum loves me, my dad loves me, my friends love me, why can not you?” Other campaigners held similar placards and unfurled rainbow flags.

Though there were no clashes between police and protesters, the activists were bundled into a police bus before being taken away, presumably for violating a Russian law passed in 2013 that outlaws the spreading of “gay propaganda”.