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PRIDE 2013

LGBT

Stockholm Pride artist slams ‘barbaric’ Russia

Swedish artist Alexander Bard officially opened Scandinavia's biggest pride festival on Wednesday night, lambasting Russian president Vladimir Putin's reign of persecution against the gay, lesbian and trans community.

Stockholm Pride artist slams 'barbaric' Russia

“The escalating persecution of homo-, bi- and transsexuals in Russia today under Vladimir Putin’s rule is among the most cruel and most barbaric discrimination of a group of people that we have seen in Europe since the 1940s,” Bard said at the opening ceremony in Stockholm.

He called on all Swedish athletes set to compete in the winter olympics in Sotchi, Russia next year to carry a rainbow flag during the opening ceremony.

“If you are scared to do that, then don’t travel there to support this spectacle,” Bard said.

The US ambassador to Sweden, Mark Brzezinski, also spoke at the opening ceremony, underscoring the importance of standing up for the rights of LGBT persons.

TT/The Local/at

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In Pictures: Tens of thousands turn out for Stockholm Pride parade

Around 50,000 people took part in the Pride parade in Stockholm this year, with close to an estimated figure of half a million spectators cheering them on. Here are the best pictures.

In Pictures: Tens of thousands turn out for Stockholm Pride parade
Tens of thousands of people marched in the Stockholm Pride Parade. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The weather, sunny with around 20C, helped boost the turnout. Just look at this picture taken in front of Stockholm City Hall.


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Sweden's Supreme Commander Micael Bydén, pictured below, was one of many well-known faces who marched in the parade. Remember last year when he burst out into an Elvis hit?


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Several politicians took part in the parade, for example Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the conservative Moderate Party and Stockholm mayor Anna König Jerlmyr…


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

… and, of the Social Democrat party, from left, former Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngård, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and Social Security Minister Annika Strandhäll.


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The 4.3 kilometre route ran from the City Hall on Kungsholmen over to Östermalms IP.


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Barbro Westerholm, 86, who had homosexuality removed from the list of mental illnesses in 1979 during her time as general director of Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare, also marched in the parade. Here she is, pictured centre next to the new leader of the Liberal Party, Nyamko Sabuni, third from left:


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The parade brought up serious issues too:


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Organizers estimate that nearly half a million people turned out to watch the parade. That's almost half the population of Stockholm.


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

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