MOSCOW, May 28, 2007 – Nikolai
Alekseev and two colleagues from Moscow Gay Pride are spending tonight in
police custody at they await a court appearance later this morning.
The three has been moved to another
police station, friends are reporting.
Volker Beck, the Green Party member
of the German Bundestag who himself was arrested briefly yesterday
afternoon, spent all last calling his contacts in both Germany and Russia
trying to get legal assistance to the “Moscow Gay Pride Three” who are to
appear in court at 11am Moscow time (8am UK; 3am New York).
“We really fear that Nikolai
Alekseev will be sent to prison for 15 days as the “figurehead” of the Gay
Pride organising team,” friends said in an email to UK Gay News. They asked
not to be identified for fear of possible retaliation by officials, but two
of them are known to this website.
“Unofficially, we received
confirmation that this is what the General Prosecutor already asked. We are
not very optimistic about the result of the court hearing. We can say that
all three have been provided with legal assistance.
“Ludmila Alekseeva from the Moscow
Helsinki Group was reached by phone and contacted the head of the police
station as well as a lawyer. Unfortunately, in between, the three detained
were moved to another police station.”
The friends said that Mr. Alekseev
had eventually been contacted last night – and he had spoken to the Italian
MEP Marko Cappato and to Herr Beck.
“We are now waiting for the court
hearing – and there is little more that we can say at this stage,” they
“But it becoming very clear that
orders are being given to court and militia directly from Kremlin,” they
It appears that the Russian
authorities have been unofficially told that a campaign could be mounted in
Western Europe to pressure the European members of the International Olympic
Committee to vote against the Sochi bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Some MEPs are even considering a
bid in the European Parliament to table a resolution to block Moscow Mayor
Yuri Luzhkov and other city officials from entering the European Union.
Tonight, Mr. Alekseev’s friends say
that they can only remind everyone of the words of Dutch MEP Sophie In’t
Veld at Friday’s Gay Pride conference: “Human Rights are indivisible –
there is no such thing as Human Rights ‘lite’. You cannot pick and choose.”
Posted: 28 May 2007 at 00:00 UK