Russia: LGBTI film festival cancelled because of a bomb threat

21 November 2019
Image: Side by Side poster / Side by Side on Twitter


The Side by Side (Bok o Bok) LGBTI film festival held in St. Petersburg was suspended for over an hour due to information relating to a bomb threat, reported Novaya Gazeta on 14 November.

The festival continued after the threat was determined false.

The event was held at the Sokos Hotel and the participants were asked to leave the venue after the film started.

 “At the moment, a bomb message has been received and the building will be checked. We have to exit the building and we will keep you posted. We are waiting for the check to be finished and we will inform you, ” the organisers said to the public.

Various news outlets reported on the disruption of the festival.

During last year’s festival, State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov criticised the event and interfered with its running. He demanded the cancellation of the festival and informed the rescue services that a hostage-taking situation had occurred during the festival. The police arrived, and all the participants were taken outside.

The deputy later claimed that he only wanted to check the rental certificates.

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