Sept. 17, 2010 - Melanie Nathan;
Nikolai Alekseev is the leader of Russian LGBT movement. Bloggers have been reporting extensively on his current whereabouts and the underground LGBT asylum sources have informed LGR that the information may be fake, inter alia, to possibly get media heat off Moscow.
Alekseev is the organizer of the Moscow Pride marches, which have been notoriously broken up by police.
He has taken Russia to the European Court of Human Rights over their refusal to allow Moscow Pride.
He was arrested at Moscow's main embassy Monday night. Subsequent reports suggested that he had been taken to Minsk in Belarus, however information this afternoon from colleagues suggests that the SMS messages on which the reports are based may be fake.
I for one cannot understand why he would be taken to Minsk in the first place, and in any event my concern for his well being would be heightened. Minsk is not exactly gay friendly. It makes no sense. But the biggest concern is that no one has spoken with Nikolai since his arrest. He has not been seen by LGBT activists in Minsk.
Russian and Belarus activists therefore are EXTREMELY CONCERNED FOR HIS WELFARE.
Concern from politicians and in particular concern from the State Dept is imperative to ensure that no harm comes to Nikolai.
Latest news is incredibly worrying see this post for more detail - http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2010/09/russian-lgbt-leader-exiled-to-minsk.html
Melanie Nathan and Lezgetreal is calling on fellow bloggers and activists in LGBT community and organizations: to contact State department to start asking questions. This is not about scoop this is about the life of an activist whom we all support. His life is in danger and we must extend help. So I plan to make calls to my contacts and call on my colleagues to do the same. Lets work together! Mel.