Russian Gay Activist: Cops Kidnapped Me
'They pressured me to drop gay rights case for days,' he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2010 4:22 AM CDT
Nikolai Alexeyev is taken away by riot police as a gay rights demonstration in Moscow is broken up last year.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Andrey Stenin)
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(Newser) – One of Russia's leading gay rights activists says he was kidnapped by security services as he tried to board a flight from Moscow to Geneva last week. Nikolai Alexeyev, who has repeatedly clashed with authorities in Moscow over his efforts to organize gay rights demonstrations, says he was taken from the airport to locations outside the city where he was held for days, questioned, and pressured to drop a case on gay rights currently before the European Court of Human Rights.

"They applied a lot of psychological pressure," Alexeyev tells the Independent. "They told me I had to withdraw the European court case. I also think I might have been drugged as I was feeling very disoriented." Alexeyev says his cell phone was confiscated and used to send text messages claiming he had dropped the European court case and was seeking asylum in Belarus. He plans to go ahead with a rally today against Moscow's mayor, who has banned gay pride marches and labeled gays as "satanic."