Russia’s best known gay rights activist, Nikolai Alekseev, has been arrested at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and his whereabouts remain unknown.
According to GayRussia.Ru, Alekseev was arrested as he was about to board a flight to Switzerland.
He had time to call a friend as well as the news agency Interfax before his cell phone was taken away. Reports of his arrest have been published in the Russian media.
Alekseev told friends and the media that no explanation was given to him as to why he was being arrested.
A group of activists from GayRussia led by Nikolai Baev went to the airport to try to locate Alekseev and were told that he was not being detained by the airport police and suggested that he was being interrogated by the FSB (the fomer KGB) at its headquarter in Moscow.
The Moscow Police told human rights activist Ludmila Alekseeva that Nikolai Alekseev is not listed on its database. The FSB has refused to answer any questions on the matter.
Russia has been criticised for its lacklustre human rights record when it comes to LGBT people. Moscow’s Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, has repeatedly banned attempts to hold Pride events in the city and has called gays and lesbians “satanic.”