Police in Moscow today raided the home of prominent LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev.
The first news of the raid came when he sent warning messages on Twitter:
- “RT! Police in Moscow is trying to break into the flat of Nikolay Alekseev since 7 am! Urgent alert!!!”
- “To all media! From 7 am police breaks the door of Moscow Pride organizer Nikolay Alekseev! Urgent alert!”
Alekseev has recently provoked a mix of worry, disdain, confusion among LGBT activists because of a series of disjointed, hostile and possibly even drunken tweets. Some decided that he might have been forced to ally himself with the anti-gay crackdown of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or had been kidnapped, or that his Facebook account had been hacked.
But today’s tweets seem to have been valid.
RIA Novosti reported:
MOSCOW, August 27 – Investigators have searched apartments belonging to prominent Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev Tuesday, against whom a criminal case has been launched over his Twitter remarks addressing senior lawmakers.
“Investigators from Russia’s Investigative Committee have visited Alekseyev at his place of residence to carry out a search sanctioned by a court,” an unnamed Committee representative said Tuesday.
Alekseyev had previously reported the search via Twitter.
The head of the children’s issues committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, Yelena Mizulina, and her first deputy Olga Batalina had previously complained to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office that Alexeyev had posted offensive remarks about them on Twitter, in comments about Russia’s recent introduction of a ban on “gay propaganda” to minors.
Mizulina told Izvestia newspaper prosecutors were requested to launch a criminal case on charges of “insulting a representative of authority.” That offense is punishable by a fine of up to 40,000 rubles (over $1,200) or community service.
Her deputy Batalina said she did not consider she had been offended, but was seeking to protect all lawmakers from any further insults.
Alexseev later reported on Facebook, “The search in my flat is over, 3 hours. All flat is destroyed. Big thanks to media and my comrades! Someone still thinks I work for Putin?”
He still has his doubters. For example, Melanie Nathan of O-blog-dee said:
Is this real? Nikolai’s attempt to deflect his association with Putin? Given all his prior antics this smack of the “Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Is this Putin failing in his show of so-called safety for gays? Is this vengeance by the lawmakers to the detriment of the Putin and Alekseev pretense that all is safe for gays in Russia ? Is this Nikolai making it all up? Goodness knows!
None of the so called police investigation and “break in” has been verified, except the word of a constantly vacillating Alekseev and photos of taken by Alekseev himself of his apartment which he posted on his Facebook page and an article sourced through an unnamed party. Quite frankly it does not look much like a police search but rather a messy college kid’s dorm.
That said – Alekseev is tainted and his word no longer worthy, as previously reported. And the real activism is not happening from within Russia. It is one big mess.
- Home of Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev raided by police (pinknews.co.uk)
- Investigators search apartments of Russian LGBT activist (upi.com)
- Investigators Raid Apartment Of Russian Gay-Rights Activist (rferl.org)
- LGBT Russian leadership and the voice of Putin (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Did Russian Activist Nikolai Alekseev fall off his throne (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- RT: Fighting the gay fight in Russia: How gay propaganda laws actually only help (jhaines6.wordpress.com)