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Russian Activist Expelled to Belarus

Russian Activist Expelled to Belarus


Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, who was arrested by police this week, said that he was expelled from the country and as of Thursday was in Minsk, Belarus.

Alekseev was detained Wednesday at the Moscow airport as he attempted to board a flight to Geneva. Authorities reportedly demanded that he drop his lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights over the repeated banning of Moscow Gay Pride, which he organizes. Police also want Alekseev not to protest against the homophobic Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Alekseev said via SMS, "At the moment I am in Minsk. I was squeezed out to here.

"I was taken [from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport] outside the city to some small town police station and was questioned there.

"They demanded that I sign a prepared paper stating that I recall the case about gay pride parades from the European Court due to a reached arrangement," he said.

According to Interfax, Alekseev vowed to continue his work, saying, "Over the next few days I will return to Russia and will attend an anti-Luzhkov picket on Tuesday. It is a matter of principle, and I will do everything to be there."

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