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Russian MP halts LGBT film festival and tells police there are hostages in the cinema

Vitaly Milonov was one of the chief proponents of the 2013 anti-LGBT propaganda law

2018-10-25

A Russian MP halted the opening of an LGBT film festival in Saint Petersburg and told police hostages were being held in the cinema.

Organisers of the annual Side by Side festival report that Vitaly Milonov turned up at the festival before the event was due to begin on Wednesday (October 24), and blocked the entrance to the cinema and called the police.

The organisers wrote on Facebook: “As he attempted to block the entrance to the cinema he called the police and made false accusations.”

Milonov – who was one of the chief proponents of the 2013 anti-LGBT propaganda law - claimed that people were being held hostage in the cinema and a spokesperson for him claimed he was trying to enforce the law.

Around 400 people turned up for the event – which is only open to those over 18 – and following his protest, the festival is set to continue tonight (October 25) and run until November 1.