Demonstrators commemorate slain Russian LGBT activist

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Dozens of demonstrators have held solo pickets in St. Petersburg to commemorate a political and LGBT rights activist who was killed over the weekend.

Yelena Grigorieva’s body was found Saturday near her home with eight stab wounds and signs of strangling.

Some participants in Tuesday’s rally said the 41-year-old had received many threats connected with her activism, particularly for gay rights. Homosexuality is not criminalized in Russia, but animosity toward non-traditional sexuality is strong.

Marina Ken, one of the demonstrators, said “Yelena was killed because she was not afraid to tell the truth about the subjects that are traditionally silent in Russia and on the country’s state TV channels.”

Under Russian law, single demonstrators do not need official permission, so holding consecutive solo pickets is a common strategy.