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Topless activists enter Russian embassy in Sweden to protest anti-gay law

Thursday, August 1, 2013
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STOCKHOLM — Two topless activists climbed over a fence into the Russian embassy in Stockholm on Thursday to protest against the country’s anti-gay bill and stigmatization of homosexuals.

Police were called to the embassy in the morning to remove the activists, who are now suspected of trespassing. They were released after confessing to trespassing.

Jonas Ekstromer, Scanpix Sweden/AP
Two topless Femen activists who climbed over a fence into the Russian embassy grounds run towards the embassy building in Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday Aug. 1, 2013, during the Stockholm Pride week celebrations, to protest against the country’s anti-gay bill and stigmatization of homosexuals.

The two women, linked to the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, waved a rainbow flag at the embassy’s grounds and carried a sign saying “homosexual propaganda on Russian ground.”

They were supported by two other activists outside the embassy, who shouted “Gay Rights are Human Rights.”

One of the activists, Jenny Wenhammar, said the group was protesting against a recently enacted Russian law which imposes hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors.

Later Thursday a group of 150 to 200 people gathered outside the embassy for a peaceful demonstration against the same law.

The activities coincide with Stockholm Pride festival, which is being held this week and which has put special focus on gay rights in Russia.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt also reacted to the deteriorating situation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Russia.

“Hate-mongering against LGBT persons on the rise in Russia after recent law,” he wrote on Twitter. “Repulsive. Inhuman.”

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