Alekseev: “They Want Me to Withdraw the Complaints to European Court over Moscow Gay Pride”

Russian authorities continue to detain a gay activist, his whereabouts still unknown

The following is an English translation of an article posted on the Website of this morning.  The Website is “under attack” at the time of this posting on UK Gay News.

MOSCOW, September 16, 2010 (GayRussia)    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.

“They demanded of me to give up on the picket Luzhkov and withdraw a complaint by the gay pride of European court” Mr. Alekseev said today at 6:00 am.

Later, at 8 am, he clarified that he is no longer held in Domodedovo Airport, where he was detained at the airport yesterday evening.

“I cannot say where [I am], but not in Moscow,” he said when asked about his whereabouts.

Mr Alekseev told about the pressures exerted on him.  The authorities have threaten to block his exit from Russia.

“They also threatened me that a lot of bad things about me will be given to the Swiss authorities should I leave,” he said.

The head of the Moscow Gay Pride was arrested yesterday by police at Domodedovo Airport as he was about to board the evening flight to Geneva.

No explanation was given for  the reason of his detention.

Activists of the Moscow gay pride and the project GayRussia immediately went to the airport to find out what was happening and where Mr. Alekseev was being detained.   However, neither the police nor the border guards or customs officials could confirm his detention at the airport.

“It is quite possible that the detention was linked to holding a picket for the resignation of homophobic Moscow mayor Luzhkov,” activist Nikolai Baev suggested.

Earlier, Mr. Alexeyev, and other LGBT activists had announced they would be staging a picket for the dismissal of Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

“The authorities use tactics of kidnapping and psychological pressure on people who displeased them,” Mr. Baev pointed out.  “Apparently, this is their ‘agony’ before the inevitable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the illegal ban demonstrations of gay pride in Moscow.

“The government is clearly losing to the the gay activists in the legal fight, so they resort to violence,” he continued.

“I do not rule out homophobic insults, abuse and even torture against him.

“If they think they can frighten us they’re wrong – the effect will be counterproductive.  Such lawlessness and violence against the person will only strengthen our resolve to defend their civil rights,” Mr. Baev concluded.


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)

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)