Current Affairs

Moscow Pride organiser convicted of disobeying police

Tony Grew June 11, 2007
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Nicolas Alexeyev, the main organiser of last month’s banned Moscow Pride event, has been found guilty by a Russian court of breaching traffic rules by not obeying orders from police.

He was fined £20, (1,000 roubles), but said he would not pay the fine, claiming the court had not accepted evidence proving that he and other gay rights activists had not broken the law.

“It was some sort of farce in the courtroom.

“The judge rejected all our requests that photo and video documents showing that we did not violate public order be attached to the case, and said there was enough other evidence in the case,” Mr Alexeyev told news agency Interfax.

On Friday another event organiser was convicted and handed a similar fine.

Gay rights advocates had attempted to deliver a letter of protest to the office of the Mayor of Moscow on the day of the banned march, May 27th.

They were blocked by police and several were assaulted by a crowd of anti-gay protesters.

British pop star Richard Fairbrass and activist Peter Tatchell were both punched in the face by homophobic thugs.

Neither of their assailants have been arrested.

At Mr Alexeyev’s trial two police officers gave evidence against him.

He claimed neither officer was present when he was arrested and claimed his video evidence to prove it. The court declined his evidence.

Mr Alexeyev, a lawyer, was held by police for 24 hours after his arrest. He told reporters he will appeal his conviction.

“I am ready to go up to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary, to prove that I am innocent and that all the charges against me were fabricated,” Mr. Alexeyev said outside the court.

Moscow Pride organisers have vowed to hold the event in 2008.

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