Activist Nikolai Alekseev cleared of Moscow gay pride charges

Leading gay rights campaigner to seek compensation for arrest and detention by police at banned Moscow gay pride protest

Activist Nikolai Alekseev cleared of Moscow gay pride charges
12 July 2012

Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev says he will seek compensation after a court cleared him of illegally organizing a gay pride protest in Moscow.

LGBT campaigners defied a ban on a pride rally in Russia’s capital by picketing the country’s parliament, the Duma, and city hall on 27 May.

Police arrested 40 people, including Alekseev, for holding an unauthorized demonstration to mark the anniversary of the abolition of an anti-gay sodomy law in 1993.

Alekseev was charged with organizing the event, but a judge on Tuesday (11 July) acquitted the journalist who claimed he did not take a leading role in the protest.

He told Gay Star News that video footage of him at the demonstration provided clear proof of his involvement.

‘It was obvious that I was alone and just trying to talk to the journalists,’ he said.

‘The police were insisting that I was the organizer of the event. I was basically guiding people who were close to me or just appearing on the square.’

Alekseev added: ‘As soon as the decision comes into force I am planning to ask for compensation from the government for illegal arrest and for illegal detention.’

The campaigner told GSN he will also appeal the decision to ban gay pride at Moscow City Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

The Tverskoy district court had previously banned public events that qualified as gay parades from March 2012 to May 2112.

In defiance, Alekseev claimed to have found a loophole in Russian legislation and submitted requests for gay pride parades for the next 100 years to the Moscow Mayor’s office.

But the Moscow city court has now upheld the refusal of Alekseev’s requests.
 

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