Wednesday, 22 September 2010

he's free

Nikolai Alekseyev, pictured, has been released, after being arrested at Moscow airport as he was about to board a flight to Geneva.  He was detained in the airport, then at a police station some distance from Moscow.  Messages were sent from his phone that he was going to claim political asylum in Belarus, which he is adamant he did not send.  The airport authorities issued a statement that he had been detained for refusing to take off his shoes at security.  He denies this and says he had already passed through security when he was detained.  Nikolai Alekseyev is a gay activist who is Not At All Popular with the mayor of Moscow, Luzhkov (who in his turn is not popular with President Medvedev), who has stated that Moscow Pride, of which Nikolai is one of the organisers, is the work of Satan.  Nikolai has an outstanding application with the European Court of Human Rights, and he says he was pressured to withdraw it, but that he did not do so.  I know Nikolai slightly, in fact I wrote the foreword to a book of his on gay marriage.  I wish you well Nikolai, and if you come to Strasbourg come and see me.  Hat-tip Chris.

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