Army Lt. Dan Choi, discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was among 30 protestors (including 18 gay activists) arrested Saturday during a gay-rights demonstration in Moscow.
"WE WILL NOT DISAPPEAR!" Choi posted Sunday on his Facebook page.
From the White House on Sunday:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release May 29, 2011
STATEMENT BY MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
Concern about Freedom of Assembly in Russia
We note with concern that in Moscow on Saturday, May 28, a peaceable demonstration of Russians advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians, joined by international supporters, was forcefully disrupted by counter-protesters, and that Russian security forces then detained people from both groups, including American citizens. Some protestors were seriously injured according to media reports.
Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right all members of the OSCE committed to, including in the Moscow declaration and as recently as the Astana summit. As nationwide legislative elections approach, constraints on the ability of Russian citizens peacefully to gather and express their views will be closely watched in evaluating the integrity of the electoral process. We call on Russian authorities to work with municipal officials to find better ways to safeguard these fundamental freedoms.