China: Gay pride march organiser detained

2013-05-20 15:00
Youngsters hold rainbow flags as they march on the street during a gay pride parade in Changsha, central China's Hunan province. (AFP)

Youngsters hold rainbow flags as they march on the street during a gay pride parade in Changsha, central China's Hunan province. (AFP)

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Beijing — Police in central China have detained the 18-year-old organiser of a gay pride march in a sign of the government's nervousness over a growing civil society and demands for stronger individual rights.

Police and newspaper reports on Monday said the man had been detained following the Friday event and ordered to serve 12 days in a detention centre for organising an illegal march. They identified him only by his surname, Xiang.

China requires prior police approval for all marches and street demonstrations and permission is very rarely granted.

About 80 people took part in the march along a riverfront park, carrying anti-discrimination banners and a giant rainbow flag.

Chinese society is increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians, although same-sex partnerships are not recognised and no laws outlaw discrimination against sexual minorities.

Read more on:    china  |  gay rights

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