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St. Petersburg Police Arrest Suspect In Attack On LGBT Activists

An Interior Ministry officer speaks to a participant in an LGBT rally in St. Petersburg on August 12.
An Interior Ministry officer speaks to a participant in an LGBT rally in St. Petersburg on August 12.

Police in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, say they have arrested a suspect in an attack on LGBT activists and journalists after local lawmakers pressured authorities to investigate the incident.

The Russian Interior Ministry’s branch for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region said in an August 20 statement that a 19-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the August 12 attack.

It said the suspect was detained August 18 and has been subjected to travel restrictions.

Reports said that several young men in tracksuits used pepper spray to attack LGBT activists who had rallied in the city. Some 15 activists and journalists who were covering the rally were injured in the attack.

According to the journalists and lawmakers, police officers were standing nearby when the incident unfolded but did not try to stop the assailants.

Some journalists have started their own investigations and published photos of the incident on Facebook.

A criminal case was opened three days after the attack following a letter from local lawmakers to the regional police chief urging an investigation.

The lawmakers also asked for a probe into why police officers did not intervene in the attack.

With reporting by Interfax and
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