Russian jogging event mistaken for gay rally

January 24th, 2012 - 4:02 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A rally for a healthy lifestyle in Russia’s European exclave of Kaliningrad was cut short by police who mistook it for a gay pride parade.

Around two dozen activists, many of them underage, took to the streets of Sovetsk, a town with 41,000 people in the Baltic exclave, during the weekend to promote jogging, the 40161.ru website reported.

The joggers were carrying a black, yellow and white banner of imperial Russia, favoured by nationalists, which was adorned with the slogan “Russians choose sport”.

Police sent a patrol to detain them for questioning, the report said.

Officers said they were acting on an anonymous telephone tip, which reported the event to be an unsanctioned rally for gay rights.

Police also mistook the flag for a banner of some religious sect, the organiser said.

The activists were released after the organiser assured police in writing that the rally was a sports event, not a political rally.

A jogging rally in Moscow’s Izmailovsky Park in February last year ended with most participants fined by police for jaywalking.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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