Nikolai Alekseev outside Moscow City Hall
just prior to his arrest. (Pic: © Kirill
Nepomnyaschiy /

Russian police have arrested 11 activists who took part in a City Hall protest against Moscow’s anti-gay mayor and chained themselves to a railing.

Nikolai Alekseev, who was recently abducted by the authorities in an apparent attempt to intimidate him into ending his activism, was among those arrested.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has repeatedly banned Pride parades in the city, described these events as “satanic” and used the equivalent Russian slur to “faggots” in his remarks.

A camerawoman for Agence France Presse was also detained but apparently not formally charged. It is believed that all the activists have since been released from Tverskoy Police Station.

“Today it was like a VIP service at the police station,” Alekseev said after his release. “We have been charged for taking part into an unsanctioned event only and not for disobeying police orders. As a result, the maximum sentence is a fine.”

Alekseev has been ordered to appear in court on the 6th of October. He returned to Moscow on Saturday after a 72-hour ordeal which started when he was abducted at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport as he was about to board a Swiss Air flight to Geneva.

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