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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Moscow Gay Pride organizer arrested by Russian border police

Photo of Nikolai Alekseev, which was taken dur...Image via Wikipedia 
Source: GayRussia.Ru

Nikolai Alekseev arrested at Moscow Airport while flying to Switzerland

Nikolai Alekseev was arrested tonight at the Domodedovo Airport in Moscow where he was supposed to board the flight LX 1337 from Swiss Air Lines to Geneva.

His arrest took place right after the passport control. The border police asked Swiss Air Lines to cancel his boarding pass and to offload his luggage from the plane.

He had time to call a friend as well as the news agency Interfax. Reports of his arrest have been republished in the evening through the Russian media.

As he told his friends and the media, no explanation was given to him on the motive of his arrest.

A group of 3 activists from GayRussia led by Nikolai Baev went to the airport to try to locate Nikolai Alekseev. The airport police told them that Nikolai was not retained by the airport police and one police officer suggested that he was being interrogated by the FSB (ex-KGB) at its headquarter in Lubyanka (Central Moscow).

The activists of GayRussia applied yesterday for a picket scheduled for Sept 21 on the anniversary of Moscow Mayor Luzhkov with the title "Luzhkov - Gomiki. The English translation for Gomiki is Faggot.

The activists wanted to protest a Court decision which dismissed their complained against the Mayor who said that gays are "gomiki" in a TV interview in June 2009.

A recent law passed  by the Russian Parliament and signed-off by President Medvedev in July of this year allows the FSB to echo Soviet practices. The punishment for ignoring a warning was unclear, but 15-day jail sentences are envisaged for "obstructing an FSB officer's duties".

This new provision was denounced by human rights activists as an attempt to prevent human rights activists to organize rallies and public protest by preemptively arresting them.

The headquarter of the Moscow Police said tonight to Human Rights activists Ludmila Alekseeva that Nikolai Alekseev is not registered within their database. The FSB denied to answer tonight.

No more information is expected before tomorrow morning.

Under Russian law, enforcement authorities have no right to detain people for long periods without charges and without giving reasons for the detention, but this time has already expired at 10pm Moscow time.



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