Supporting the Side By Side LGBT Film Festival in Russia

The European Film Academy protests against the arbitrary raid of the Russian Side by Side LGBT Film Festival and supports the festival and its organisers.


Last week, the opening of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was raided by an army of heavy-handed police officers, who evacuated the premises and blocked entrances and nearby streets. Meanwhile, a large group of nationalist and extremist anti-LGBT activists protested aggressively. Furthermore, festival organisers have received death threats and threats of physical violence if they would not comply to demands of removing websites, social media and close down the Side by Side organisation.

"The European Film Academy deplores the State sponsored  institutional homophobia of the Russian police in their aggressive and totally unwarranted attacks on the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival " states EFA Chairman Mike Downey, "The authorities' explicit support of the illegal activities of extremist anti-LGBT groups from the extreme right, as well as their own aggressive behavior will not stop the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival who, with the solid backing of the European Film Academy will continue to exercise the right to gather, to give people the freedom of choice to access information, and participate freely in debate and intellectual thought according to the basic human rights of man."
 
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