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Gays Demonstrate in Moscow – and Are Not Arrested

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■ Anna Komarova, one of the co-organisers of Moscow Pride, at today's demonstration - the first to be sanctioned by the Moscow authorities.
photo courtesy



MOSCOW, October 1, 2010    Twenty Moscow gays demonstrated outside the offices of Swiss Air Lines in Moscow this afternoon, protesting the way that activist Nikolai Alekseev was treated when he was ‘abducted’ two weeks ago at Domodedovo Airport when he was about to board a flight to Geneva.

The demonstration was officially sanctioned by the Moscow city authorities, which had a large police presence in the area.

However, no one was arrested, though Mr. Alekseev said that he was a target of a water cannon.

Also turning up at the demonstration were anti-gay protesters and about 40 journalists and TV crew.

“The police never came near me,” Mr. Alekseev told UK Gay News by telephone.  “They were avoiding any direct confrontation with me.

“Minor scuffles broke out between the anti-gay protesters and the police and several were arrested by the OMON,” he said.

It was during the scuffles that Nikolai Baev, one of the co-organisers of Moscow Pride, was punched in the face as the OMOH pushed back protesters who were yelling homophobic abuse.

Mr. Alekseev said that his group arrived by bus outside the Swiss Airlines Office.  And after the 45-minute demonstration they left in the bus to avoid any confrontation.

“It was the first time that there has been an officially sanctioned gay demonstration in Moscow,” Mr. Alekseev said.

■ Nikolai Alekseev at today's demonstration in Moscow against Swiss Air Lines.
photo courtesy


Russian Gay Activist Alekseev Arrested With Others At Anti-Luzhkov Rally in Moscow.  Nikolai Alekseev, Russia’s high profile gay activist, was among eleven activists reported to have been arrested outside Moscow City Hall this evening.  They were taking part in a demonstration against the homophobic mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, and his “faggots” remark which a Moscow court ruled rfecently was not hate speech.  (UK Gay News, September 21, 2010)

English Translation of Russian Gay Activist Nikolai Alekseev’s Account of His Kidnapping: As It Was ... My Abduction.  By Nikolai Alekseev.  On September 15th nothing could have prepared me for what happened over the next three days. (UK Gay News, September 19, 2010 - published in Russian on LiveJournal on September 18, 2010)

Russian Gay Activist: “I Never Was in Minsk – I Never Sent Any SMS Messages.   “Abducted” Alekseev surfaces in Russia, not Belarus.  “I never was in Minsk … My phone was taken from me two days ago …”  These are the actual – and remarkable – words of Nikolai Alekseev, the gay Russian activist and chief organiser of Moscow Pride, who has surfaced somewhere in Russia.  (UK Gay News, September 17, 2010)

Questions Have to be Answered by Authorities in Russia and Belarus as Doubts Emerge About Well-Being of Russian Gay Activist.  Commentary.   Has Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev actually been released?  And is he really in Minsk?  These are questions being asked by Belarusian gay activists in Minsk this afternoon. (UK Gay News, September 17, 2010)

Direland - USA:
New Concerns for Safety of Nikolai Alekseev.   Commentary by Doug Ireland.   A dispatch published a few hours ago by Interfax Belarus, the Belarussian branch of the Russian-based news agency, raises real questions about whether leading Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev -- who was arrested Wednesday night, disappeared from view for two days while Russian authorities denied having him in custody, than resurfaced in Minsk in Belarus, where he'd been deported -- is in fact truly free of his movements and speech.

BBC News Russian Service - UK:
Устроитель гей-парадов в Москве просит убежища в Минске?   Коллеги и друзья организатора гей-парадов в Москве Николая Алексеева почти сутки не могут выйти с ним на связь. Тем временем с номера его мобильного телефона в агентство Интерфакс пришли sms о том, что он решил просить политического убежища в Белоруссии.  This article, Organizer of Gay Parades in Moscow Seeks Asylum in Minsk?, is is Russian only.  Google online translation is HERE.

MEP on Russia Gay Rights: Alekseev’s Arrest Is of “Deep Concern”.   An MEP has expressed “deep concern” following the arrest yesterday evening of Nikolai Alekseev, the high-profile Russian gay activist who was detained at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow as he was about to board a Swiss Air Lines flight to Geneva.  Sarah Ludford, the LibDem MEP who sits with the ALDE group in the European Parliament, hit out at the Russian authorities today.  (UK Gay News, September 16, 2010)

Alekseev: “They Want Me to Withdraw the Complaints to European Court over Moscow Gay Pride”.  Russian authorities have detained the organiser of Moscow Gay Pride, Nikolai Alekseev, and are requiring him to abandon a picket, demanding the resignation of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.  The authorities are also demanding that he withdraws lawsuits lodged with the European Court of Human Rights over the banning of Moscow Gay Prides over the past five years.  (UK Gay News, September 16, 2010)

Russian Gay Activist Arrested at Moscow Airport As He Was About to Board Swiss Air Lines Flight to Geneva.  Russia’s best known gay rights activist was arrested this evening at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.  And there are concerns as, so far, officials are not giving out any information about his whereabouts.  (UK Gay News, September 15, 2010)




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Posted: 1 October 2010 at 17:00 (UK time)


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