Nicolas Alexeyev, the organiser of Moscow Pride, is being held by police with other gay activists, among them Peter Tatchell.

Mr Alexeyev has released the following statement:

“We ask the western democraties to put a maximum pressure on the Russian authorities to release us immediately.

“The protocol written by the police is completely falsified and all the Western MEPs and MPs who were with us could confirm it.

“We are accused of having blocked the streets and insulted the police which is a complete lie. We were on the pavement and we never insulted the police. This has never been our methods.

“All this is nothing else that the good old method of KGB. We can see that agents of FSB are at the police station (ex KGB). The same people who were this morning at the hotel trying to prevent us to leave.

“We praise the German Chancellor Merkel who is currently heading the European Union Presidency to raise the question to President Putin.

“We also praise the other leaders of the G8 and the EU to speak publicly on this issue.

“We are very thankfull to European parliamentarians Volker Beck, Sophie In’t Veld, Vladimir Luxuria and Marco Cappato who came for us in Moscow and of course all the other

“They can show to the world that gay and lesbian rights do not exist in Russia. They can show to the world that freedom of expression not only about politics.

“Please remember the words of Sophie In’t Veld at yesterday press conference. There is no such thing as human rights light in which you can just avoid LGBT issues.

“There is no place in Europe for people who do not respect the rights of their citizen. European democracies should ban Mayor Luzhkov and his people to enter their countries as they did to officials in Belarus.

“We ask for your help and support. Probably now, more than ever.”