Nikolai Alekseev, Gay Activists Arrested in Protest of Moscow Mayor

Alekseev

UK Gay News reports that eleven activists including Nikolai Alekseev have been arrested during a protest outside Moscow City Hall:

"They were taking part in a demonstration against the homophobic mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, and his 'faggots' remark which a Moscow court ruled recently was not hate speech. Those arrested were said to have chained themselves to the railings outside City Hall. Also reported arrested was a reporter from Agence France Presse.  She was seen by activists being hauled into a police van.  But Mr. Alekseev told UK Gay News later that she was not taken to the police station and was presumably released without charge. The eleven activists were taken to the Tverskoy Police Station in Moscow. Mr. Alekseev said that he was injured during his arrest. He was speaking by telephone from inside a police van from which  other  activists were heard chanting 'happy birthday Mayor Luzhkov' – it is the Mayor’s 74th birthday today."

The AP adds:

"The two dozen demonstrators had been protesting the policies of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has called homosexuals 'satanic' and thwarted attempts to hold a gay pride rally in the city. Police detained most, if not all, of those participating in Tuesday's rally, which was held without a required permit near city hall. The activists handcuffed themselves to a monument for the 13th-century Russian prince who founded Moscow, displayed a papier-mache mummy resembling Luzhkov and unfurled posters ridiculing the mayor and his billionaire wife, Yelena Baturina. The activists said they objected to Luzhkov's recent use of the word 'fag,' and a court's subsequent ruling that the word could not be deemed offensive."

Alekseev called for the rally after being abducted by men thought to be with the Russian secret police over the weekend. 


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Leading Gay Russian Activist Nikolai Alekseev Safe in Moscow, Says He Was Harassed, Drugged by Captors

Leading Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev is safely back in Moscow, and has written an account of his harrowing abduction by captors thought to be with Russia's secret police. Alekseev says the captors harassed, threatened, and possibly drugged him.

Alexeyev Early Saturday morning Alekseev left the following message on Facebook:

"My dear friends, I just entered Moscow. Thank you to all of you for support. All I want now is to brush my teeth and to shave. I will try to describe all that happened tonight! I never thought so many people care for me, it brings tears to my eyes."

Alekseev has written the personal account of his abduction HERE (translated via Google).

Radio Free Europe reports:

"A spokeswoman for the airport told Russian news agencies that Alekseyev was detained after refusing to take off his shoes at the security check. The activist rejects this account and claims airport security officials arbitrarily detained him for two hours before handing him over to a group of unidentified men in plainclothes. He told RFE/RL that he was then driven to a police station in Kashira, a small town some 100 kilometers south of Moscow, where he spent the next two days."

In his personal account, Alekseev notes that he discovered his location by using an iPad, which the authorities had not taken from him.

Radio Free Europe continues:

"[In Kashira], he says he was threatened, harassed, and possibly drugged. 'The first night, I slept on a chair and a table. I spent the second night on a kind of banquette. They gave me water, but I think it was laced with something because my reactions were very slow and I felt completely disoriented. I was given very simple food like biscuits,' Alekseyev says. Conflicting reports had emerged in the wake of Alekseyev's mysterious disappearance. While the activist did not respond to repeated calls to his mobile telephone, news agencies said they had received text messages from him saying he had been taken to Belarus and intended to seek political asylum there. Alekseyev denies such intentions and says the text messages were sent by his captors from his confiscated telephone."

During his abduction, Alekseev was pressured to withdraw a complaint he had filed with the European Court of Human Rights over Moscow's banning of Gay Pride parades.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Are Russian Police Sending Fake Text Messages to Make Everyone Think Activist Nikolai Alekseev Is Safe?

Nikolai Alekseev, the Russian activist and Moscow Gay Pride organizer who went missing after an arrest at Moscow's airport, is supposedly safe in Minsk, Bealrus. If he ever wants to return to his mother country, he'll have to disavow his claim in the European Court of Human Rights that state authorities are unfairly discriminating against the gays, and drop his demands that Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov — this jerk — resign. UPDATE: Is an impostor pretending to be Alekseev and text messaging activist friends to make them think he's safe? Not only have Belerussian activists not seen or spoken to him, but when personal questions are asked of Alekseev, there is no SMS response, indicating whomever is sending messages from his phone is not him.


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—  John Wright