One of Russia’s most prominent LGBT activists, Alexey Davydov, has died at just 36 years old after a prolonged illness.
Davydov passed away at 5.40am local time today (27 September) in the intensive care unit of a Moscow hospital.
Despite his illness, he had worked for LGBT rights to the end. He had been due to protest outside the Sochi Olympics headquarters in Moscow on Tuesday (24 September), a demonstration leading to the arrest of 10 activists.
From the town of Liski in the Voronezh Oblast region of west Russia, he became a leading activist, helping the Moscow Pride organization from 2007 onwards and co-founding the LGBT Rights group.
In July, he again protested Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law in Red Square with a rainbow banner reading ‘Homophobia, the religion of trash’, causing his arrest.
Gay Russia reports: ‘Despite the big health problems in recent years, Alexey continued his struggle to make Russia a free and democratic state. Alexey was not going to die, he had a lot of plans.
‘He always opened the door for new civic activism of young people, who quickly became the vanguard of the struggle for human rights in Russia.
‘But on Wednesday morning he was hospitalized. Rest in peace, our friend! We will never forget you! The kingdom of heaven to you!’
His LGBT activist friends are planning his funeral.
UPDATE: Alexey Davydov’s friends have launched an appeal for funds to pay for his funeral.
Fellow activist Nikolai Alekseev said: ‘He made an enormous contribution to the Russian LGBT movement since 2006. He never cared about arrests and attacks. He just pursued our mutual goal! He has no relatives. He dedicated all his life to activism.
‘It’s only us, his friends, who can now say farewell to him and bury him with dignity. As of now we are looking for around $2,000 US [â‚¬1,470] for all the funeral process. All the donations will be announced and accounted for. Just go to PayPal.com and donate to [email protected].’