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Russian gay activist fined thousands for attempting to hold Pride in Moscow

Russian gay activist fined thousands for attempting to hold Pride in Moscow

A gay activist in Russia was fined for holding a LGBTI rights protest yesterday (22 June).

Nikolai Alekseev, who has just been sent to prison for 10 days, will now be fined by the court 20,000 rubles ($370, €330) for the organisation of a brief protest outside the mayor’s office in Moscow.

On 30 May, Alekseev rode a quad bike with two others while carrying a rainbow flag and orange smoke flare down the main Tverskaya Street.

Around 30 homophobic thugs hurled eggs and threw rocks and bottles at them, but the activists were undeterred.

He was found to have broken the law on public demonstration, organising an unsanctioned public event and for disobedience of police orders.

This is believed to be the first time anyone has been jailed for attempting to hold a Pride in Russia. Other attempts have only resulted in arrests and fines.

Alekseev has now appealed the arrest at the Presidium of Moscow City Court and also appeal the fine.

‘But I don’t have any hope or trust for the Russian courts,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘That is why the bans of the Pride events as well as the arrests and the fine will all be appealed in one case to the European Court of Human Rights.

‘The situation in terms of human rights in general and LGBT rights in particular in Russia is worsening.

‘It was the first time in 10 years since I organise the Pride in Moscow that someone was sent to prison for taking part.

‘It is a new way to pressure the activists and to dissuade them from going on the streets. Huge fines, arrests, firing from work.

‘I don’t expect the situation will get any better in the nearest future but the Council of Europe and the European Court should put more pressure on the Russian Government in respect to the situation of LGBT people in Russia and the breaches of their rights.’