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Russian Gay Activist: “I Never Was in Minsk – I Never Sent Any SMS Messages
 “Abducted” Alekseev surfaces in Russia, not Belarus

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■ Nikolai Alekseev being arrested by the OMON at Moscow Gay Pride in 2009
photo courtesy GayRussia



“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.

Mr. Alekseev was speaking this evening to a close friend, who is known to UK Gay News from Moscow Gay Pride in May – and who is reliable.

The close friend, who does not want to be identified as he fears for his safety, said he was certain that it was Nikolai Alekseev speaking.

“Nikolai used my nickname when he sent me a SMS, so I was pretty sure it was him,” the friend said.  “Then I asked a question that only he could answer – and the answer was correct, so I called the number.

“There was no indication that he was being supervised – it was a normal conversation, though short.”

Mr. Alekseev was shocked to be told that Interfax Belarus was quoting SMS messages from him, saying he was in Minsk, that he had applied for political asylum in the country and he had withdrawn the cases against the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr. Alekseev went on to say that he was 500 kilometres from Moscow and that he was returning to the capital.  He hopes to be there tomorrow when he will explain all that has happened.

It was a short call as Mr. Alekseev didn’t want to have his whereabouts identified by the authorities.

“I am certain from what Nikolai said that those SMS messages, like those to Interfax, were not send by him,” the friend said.  “How could he have sent them?  His phone had been taken away two days ago.”

So part of the “mystery” is solved.

“We will have to wait until Saturday evening to learn of the entire story,” the friend added.


For Coverage in German, see Queer’s Website

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)

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: 17 September 2010 at 22:30 (UK time)


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