Friday, September 17, 2010

Gay Activist Kidnapped by Authorities in Russia

Alekseev is dragged away by the police during a peaceful gay pride
event he organized
 The most famous gay activist in Russia, Nikolai Alekseev, has been detained by Russian authorities in the Domodedovo airport when he was trying to leave the country on business.

Russian authorities have been pressuring Alekseev to get him to withdraw the cases against the homophobic actions of the Russian Federation that his organization has pending with the European Court of Human Rights.

Russian militia is detaining a gay activist
 For years, Alekseev and his supporters have been trying to organize a Gay Pride event in Moscow. Every time, the homophobic local government bans the parade and brutally attacks the people who gather to attend it. Moscow's mayor Yury Luzhkov is a notorious homophobe. He has repeatedly denounced all attempts to hold a Gay Pride Parade in Moscow. The mayor, who is the most powerful and feared person in Moscow, is well-known for his vile homophobic statements.

At this point, nobody seems to know for sure what happened to Alekseev, where he was taken, and who is sending text messages from his cell phone claiming that Alekseev is ready to withdraw his court claims against Russian authorities and leave the country for good.

In 1993, sexual acts between consenting males were decriminalized in Russia. Since then, the Russian gay community has gained visibility and has worked hard to promote a message of tolerance. Still, Russia's official attitude to sexual minorities has remained viciously homophobic.

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