Nikolay Alexeyev

Nikolay Alexeyev
Nikolay Alexeyev

Nikolay Alexeyev at the Moscow Pride Press Conference, May 16th 2008[1]
Born Nikolay Alexandrovich Alexeyev
23 December 1977 (1977-12-23) (age 33)
Moscow, Russia
Occupation LGBT Rights Activist, Lawyer and Journalist

Nikolay Alexandrovich Alexeyev, also written in English as Alekseyev, Alekseev and Alexeev (Russian: Никола́й Алекса́ндрович Алексе́ев) born on December 23, 1977 in Moscow) is a Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist.

On 21 October 2010 Nikolay Alexeyev won the first ever case at the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT human rights violations in Russia. The Strasbourg-based court unanimously ruled that by banning three Moscow Prides in 2006, 2007 and 2008 Russia breached three articles of the European Convention.[2][3] In January 2011 Russian Government asked the Court to refer the case for re-consideration to the Grand Chamber. On 11 April 2011 five judges panel of the European Court dismissed Russia's appeal and the verdict on illegality of Moscow Pride bans came into force the same day.[4]

Since 2005 Nikolay Alexeyev is known as the founder and chief organizer of Moscow Pride, which is officially banned year after year by city authorities. Together with the activists of his advocate group Russian LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.Ru, Nikolay Alexeyev attempted to organize a large number of public actions to defend the rights of sexual minorities in Russia. For five years none of the LGBT public actions for which he and his fellow activists required the permission of the Russian authorities was allowed to take place. On 1 October 2010 he was for the first time ever authorized to organize a sanctioned picketing in Moscow with the aim to call for economic boycott of "Swiss Air Lines" due to its role in the arrest of Nikolay Alekseev at Moscow "Domodedovo" airport on 15 September 2010.[5]

Nikolay Alekseev is fluent in Russian and English and also has a grasp of French. His blog reports that since the year 2000 he visited forty nine countries.[6] He took part in Gay pride parades in different cities of the world: London, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Turin, Vancouver, Sao Paulo and Warsaw.

In 2007 Nikolay Alexeyev produced the documentary Moscow. Pride '06 which features the events around the first Moscow Gay Pride Festival from May 25 to May 28, 2006.[7] This documentary was included in the official programme of Berlin Film Festival in "Panorama" section in February 2007.[8] Nikolay Alexeyev and film director Vladimir Ivanov have accumulated hundreds of hours of Russian LGBT events footage. The 2008 documentary film East/West - Sex & Politics, by director Jochen Hick, included in the official programme of Berlin Film Festival in "Panorama" section in February 2008,[9] follows Alexeyev's attempts to organise the 2007 Moscow Gay Pride Festival.[10]

Canadian award-winning documentary film by Bob Christie Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride[11] features the organisation of the third Moscow Pride in 2008 by Nikolay Alexeyev and his fellow activists. It also contains footage of Alexeyev's participation in the Gay Parade in Sao Paulo in May 2008 and images of his arrest during first Moscow Pride on 27 May 2006.[12]

In June 2009 French TV channel France 4 aired the programme "Global Resistance" featuring 11 minutes report about the activities of Nikolay Alexeyev and his fellow activists from Russia and Belarus organizing first Slavic Gay Pride in Moscow on the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final on 16 May 2009.[13]

2011 Australian documentary by Logan Mucha features the attempts to organize Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk, Belarus, in May 2010 and the role played by Nikolay Alexeyev.[14]



Nikolay Alexeyev at the Slavic Pride Press Conference, May 5th 2009[15]

Born and raised in Moscow, in 1995 Nikolay Alexeyev graduated from school with the profound learning of English language. In 2000 he graduated from the Faculty of Public Administration (previously known as the Institute of Public Administration and Social Studies) of Lomonosov Moscow State University with excellence.

During his studies, Nikolay Alexeyev was attracted by the Constitutional Law. In the summers of 1996, 1997, and 1998 he worked as an intern in the Secretariat of the Russian Constitutional Court in Moscow. As an assistant to the judge, he prepared case materials and confinements for the decisions of the Court.

In 1998, being a third year student of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Nikolay Alexeyev released his first book "Citizen's complaints to the Constitutional Court.[16]

Between November 2000 to February 2001 Nikolay Alexeyev worked as a special correspondent for the Russian daily newspaper Segodnya.[17] The paper which belonged to Russian oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky was closed in April 2001 after state-owned Gazprom-Media took full control over it.[18]

After graduation from the University Nikolay Alexeyev stayed at his faculty to continue postgraduate studies in constitutional, municipal and administrative law. In November 2001 he was forced to leave the Postgraduate Programme of the Moscow State University, Faculty of Public Administration (Legal Fundamentals of State Regulation Department) due to the non-acceptance of his research of the legal status of sexual minorities as scientific thesis.[19] This research was published in his 2002 book "Legal Regulation of the Status of Sexual Minorities: Russia in the Light of International Organisations' Practice and Legislation of Other Countries".[20]

In June 2002 Nikolay Alexeyev published his second book "Gay Marriage: Family Status of Same-Sex Couples in International, National and Local Law" which summarized legal situation in terms of the recognition of same-sex unions around the world.[21]

Nikolay Alexeyev appealed to Court against the University claiming he was victim of sexual orientation discrimination. On 10 June 2005 Moscow's Nikulinskiy District Court dismissed his claim.[22][23][24] The decision was confirmed on appeal by Moscow City Court in September 2005.[25] In May 2006 Nikolay Alexeyev filed his first complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France which was registered under #9689/06. As of November 2010, the case was not considered by the Court and not communicated to Russian authorities.

In October 2002, Nikolay Alexeyev authored a report titled "Curbing Prostitution: Western Experience and International Law" ordered by former State Duma Deputy Alexander Barannikov. The report was supposed to help the deputy's initiative to legalize prostitution in Russia. Finally, the deputy was in minority in his party and no bill was introduced in the Parliament.

In 2003 Nikolay Alexeyev authored a comprehensive research dedicated to the history and contemporary reform of the upper chamber of British Parliament "House of Lords: From the Court of King Egbert to the Revolution of Prime Minister T. Blair (825-2003)".[26]

In February 2005 Nikolay Alexeyev decided to fully dedicate himself to gay activism and the fight for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Russia. On May 17, 2005, the first International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) he launched Russian LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.Ru, an LGBT advocate group in Moscow. The launch of the organization was marked by a press conference which was fully ignored by the media.

In the interview with "In These Times", published on November 30, 2007, Nikolay Alexeyev explained that he "realized it wouldn't be possible to change things in Russia just by writing" and that "he should be involved in more activist work and try to bring changes for LGBT rights." Gay activism became his full time occupation.[27]

On 5 September 2008 Nikolay Alexeyev became the first public figure in Russia's history who entered into same-sex family union. Marriage ceremony took place in Geneva City Hall on the basis of the Swiss Federal Law on registered partnership.[28] He is in family relations with his Swiss partner since November 1999.

Currently held positions

  • Founder and Head of the Russian LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.Ru (since May 17, 2005)
  • Founder and Chairman of Moscow Pride Organizing Committee (since foundation in July 2005) [29]
  • Vice President of the International Day Against Homophobia Committee since 2008 (previous position: Executive Secretary since creation of the organization in November 2005) [30]
  • Member of the Board and Regional Director for Eastern Europe of InterPride [31]

Reputation and awards

Nikolay Alexeyev and Jerry Levinson from Jerusalem with the São Paulo awards, May 2008.[1]

Since 2005 Nikolay Alexeyev earned his reputation in gay activism as a person who would not compromise on his ideals and who will not give up on his fights for LGBT rights in Russia and other countries. The leading French gay and lesbian magazine Tetu called him in March 2009 "l'activiste le plus acharné du continent" which could be translated into English as "the most stubbornly persistent activist on the continent"[32] In December 2010 leading American gay magazine "The Advocate" called Nikolay Alexeyev "the most visible crusader in his country".[33]

In 2000 Nikolay Alexeyev received the "Red Diploma" (Moscow) from the Faculty of Public Administration of the Lomonosov Moscow State University for excellent achievements in studies. The Red Diploma is awarded to the graduates with the best performance.

In 2006, together with the founder of the International Day Against Homophobia Louis-Georges Tin and co-organizers of Moscow Pride Nikolay Baev and Evgenia Debryanskaya, Nikolay Alexeyev received the "ILGCN Grizzly Bear" (Moscow), "honouring outstanding and courageous efforts in the face of unusually fierce homophobia".[34]

In 2006 Nikolay Alexeyev also received GALHA Award (London), in recognition of "his courage in challenging homophobia in Russia and beyond".[35]

On June 17, 2008 The Advocate called him a Global Pride Warrior together with three other activists from Nepal, Nigeria and Chile.[36]

Also in 2008 Nikolay Alexeyev received the HERO Award (Los Angeles), "for his attempts to stage full Prides". The award was presented during the Grand Finale of the Mr Gay International Competition in Los Angeles.[37]

Nikolay Alexeyev as Vancouver Pride Grand Marshall on 1 August 2010

Also in 2008 Nikolay Alexeyev received São Paulo's Citizen Award for Respecting Diversity Sao Paulo. It was presented by the Associação da Parada do Orgulho LGBT de São Paulo (APOGLBT).[38]

On May 14, 2009 Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty called Nikolay Alexeyev "A Man of the week" after the organisation of the Slavic Pride during the "Eurovision Song Contest" final in Moscow.[39]

In July 2010 Nikolay Alexeyev received "A Hero Award" in international nomination presented by Vancouver Pride Society. On 1 August 2010 he was a Grand Marshall of Vancouver Gay Parade heading the march in white navy uniform with the logo of Moscow Pride.[40] The interview with Nikolay Alexeyev was published by the leading Canadian LGBT newspaper[41] During his stay in Vancouver he also took part in two TV shows on local ShawTV explaining the situation for LGBT rights in Russia.[42][43]

In December 2010 Romanian LGBT portal named Nikolay Alexeyev as "A Man of the Year 2010". According to the publication, he is "one of the most respected human rights activist in the world and he is a model to us for his determination and self sacrifice. Nikolai is a symbol of dignity maintained against the waves of hatred which drown Russia".[44]

Nikolay Alexeyev is known to be a personal friend of German Bundestag member Volker Beck, British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, President of IDAHO Committee Louis-Georges Tin, writer and Oscar Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland. He was also a friend of Jacques Teyssier.

Media appearance

Nikolai Alekseev during the interview with New Times after third Moscow Pride, June 2, 2008[1]

According to the leading Russian Internet search engine Yandex.Ru, Nikolay Alexeyev is the most quoted gay activist in Russian media on LGBT issues.[45] He takes part in various TV and radio programs in Russia and abroad.

He was twice invited to take part in the most watched talk show on Russian TV K baryeru! (NTV Russia Television) hosted by Vladimir Solovyov (journalist) for six years.[46] The show took a form of a debate between two participants with the conductor acting as a referee and asking questions. The program was widely watched in Russia because it was broadcast during prime time throughout the country. It was last aired on April 23, 2009, after which the channel's administration took a decision to close the program.

"K baryeru" - Nikolay Alexeyev v. State Duma deputy Svetlana Goryacheva, was broadcast on May 18, 2006. The debate was initiated after the organizers for the first time notified Moscow Mayor about their intention to conduct a Gay Pride in Moscow.

"K baryeru" - Nikolay Alexeyev v. State Duma deputy Alexander Chuyev was broadcast on June 21, 2007. The debate was initiated after Orthodox youth movement "Georgievtsy" organized picketings of the gay cruising area in downtown Moscow.

During the second program Alexander Chuyev linked Nikolay Alexeyev to oligarch Boris Berezovsky and called him an extremist. In the final round of the show a scandal started after Nikolay Alexeyev called Alexander Chuyev "gay, coward and hypocrate". A week later, at the request of the deputy, criminal investigation was started against the activist.[47][48] After a private peaceful agreement between the parties Alexender Chuyev asked the judge to dismiss the charges and close the case. Nikolay Alexeyev also tried to prosecute Alexander Chuyev on the basis of the very same talk show but he was denied by the prosecution department.

On 2 December 2007 Alexander Chuyev, who in 2007 initiated a bill in the State Duma to criminalize propaganda of homosexuality, was not re-elected during the parliamentary elections.[49] On 5 December 2007 he admitted in the interview that the reason for his defeat was his homophobia. His bill to re-criminalize homosexuality was only rejected by the State Duma on 8 May 2009, on the eve of the 1st Slavic Pride in Moscow.[50][51][52]

In June 2007, after the second Moscow Pride, NTV channel featured Nikolay Alexeyev in its program "Glavnyi geroi".[53]

Nikolay Alexeyev took part in two video programs in the studio of "The New Times" magazine. In January 2008 he was opposed by Russian film director and actor Nikolay Burlyaev[54] and in June 2008 Nikolay Alexeyev talked about the preparation and conduct of the third Moscow Pride.[55]

On 17 May 2010, the International Day Against Homophobia, Nikolay Alexeyev took part in the program "Chestnyi ponedelnik" on NTV which was dedicated to sexual minorities in Russia.[56]

Principal appearances of Nikolay Alexeyev on the leading Russian radio "Echo Moskvy":

"Will there be a gay parade in Moscow?", 2 August 2005[57]

"Islam - instrument of censure?", 18 February 2006[58]

"Sexual majority against sexual minority", 10 June 2007[59]

"Perspectives of the gay parade and film festival "Side by Side", dedicated to same-sex love", 24 January 2008[60]

"Will there be a gay parade in Moscow?", 24 April 2008[61]

"People against...", 1 May 2008[62]

"Will there be a gay parade in Moscow?", 16 May 2009[63]

"Should gay parades be allowed in Moscow?", 21 October 2010[64]


Fight for gay rights in Russia and Belarus

Nikolay Alexeyev being arrested at the first Moscow Pride, 27 May 2006[1]
Nikolay Alexeyev being arrested at Moscow City Hall while protesting against Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on 21 September 2010, one week before his dismissal

July 2005 can be seen as the starting point of Nikolay Alexeyev's campaign for Freedom of Assembly of gays and lesbians in Russia.

The plans to hold a Gay Pride in Moscow in May 2006 was first revealed by Nikolay Alexeyev during a joint press conference with Evgenia Debryanskaya, dedicated to the condemnation of the execution of gay minors in Iran. It took place on July 28, 2005 in Moscow at the press center of the National Information Group (NewsInfo). Nikolay Alexeyev answered a question from a journalist from the Russian news agency Interfax who asked "And what the gay community is planning in Russia?" Nikolay Alexeyev revealed the plans for the first Gay Pride in Moscow. Within an hour the news spread in Russian and foreign media.[65][66]

The same day some Russian gay activists condemned the initiative, calling it a "provocation of officials" which was worked out after Nikolay Alexeyev's visit to the Administration of the Russian President.[67]

The day after the press conference, on 29 July 2005, Interfax contacted the Mayor of Moscow and asked him if he would allow such event in his city. Yuri Luzhkov did not measure the consequences which his answer would create saying that he had not received any application but should he gets one he would dismiss it. He added that he "stands on the protection of the interests of Moscovites and they categorically would not support such an initiative".

Ever since the announcement of Moscow Pride initiative Nikolay Alexeyev expressed his readiness to appeal all possible bans of such events by Moscow Mayor in the European Court of Human Rights.[68] Moreover since that time the creation of media interest around Moscow Pride became strategy of Nikolay Alexeyev which he wanted to use in order to attract maximum attention to the LGBT rights in Russia. The activist suggested that prior to the Moscow Pride initiative Russian media showed gays and lesbians mostly in a negative way.

Uncompromising fight for the conduct of Moscow Pride through banned public manifestations and rigorous legal work based on court appeals against all bans of LGBT public events up to European Court of Human Rights helped to elevate Nikolay Alexeyev to the position of an informal leader of Russian LGBT community, the way he is frequently called by Russian and foreign media.[69][70][71][72][73][74]

Nikolay Alexeyev's first authorised protest in Moscow. Picketing of Swiss Air Lines office on 1 October 2010[1]

For five years Nikolay Alexeyev was the applicant of all public events of Moscow Prides as well as several other public LGBT manifestations in Moscow, Ryazan and Tambov. He was only once allowed by the authorities to demonstrate.

Nikolay Alexeyev is one of the main ideological opponents of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who called gay parades "satanic gatherings"[75] and the participants of such events as "faggots".[76] He also called gays weapons of mass disraction of the West[77] and persons, responsible for the HIV epidemic in Moscow.[78]

In February 2007, at the end of the press conference of the summit of London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing Mayors at London City Hall Nikolay Alexeyev unveiled Moscow Pride flag at the back of Yuri Luzhkov while he was giving an interview to the first channel of Russian TV. Mayor's press secretary Sergey Tsoi tried to pull it out but without success. One of the Russian leading daily newspapers "Kommersant" wrote ironically after the incident in London that "Sergey Tsoi tried to take over the gay movement flag from Nikolay Alexeyev". The activist asked Scotland Yard to initiate criminal proceedings against Sergey Tsoi but the case was never opened. Mayors' meeting in London in 2007 was their last official summit.[79][80][81]

In November 2008, Nikolay Alexeyev and three other activists of Moscow Pride travelled to Belarus and hosted a seminar with a group of Belarusian gay and lesbian activists in Minsk. The activists agreed to join efforts and launch the Slavic Pride movement. Nikolay Alexeyev offered his assistance to Belarusian activists to help raising the awareness about their struggle outside Belarus. Since then he is working with the group and its leader Sergey Androsenko.[82][83]

In February 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev invited Sergey Androsenko (Siarhei Androsenka), the leader of to join him and other Russian activists in a tour of European institutions (European Parliament and the European Commission on February 12, Press Conference in Luxembourg with MP Jean Huss on February 13, Council of Europe in Strasbourg on February 14, and United Nations in Geneva on February 16–17). They also took part in two manifestations in Strasbourg and Geneva trying to attract attention to the violations of the right to freedom of assembly in Russia and Belarus.[84][85][86]

On 16 May 2009 the first joint Russian-Belarusian Slavic Pride took place in Moscow. City authorities denied permission for the event and police forces violently dispersed the participants of the manifestation at Vorobyevy Hills.[87] Second Slavic Pride took place in Minsk on 15 May 2010. City authories also denied permission for the march arresting eight participants in unsanctioned rally.[88] Third Slavic Pride is planned to take place in St. Petersburg on 25 June 2011.[89]

Nikolay Alexeyev shortly before his arrest after spoiling the ballot paper in State Duma elections: "No to homophobes! No to Luzhkov!, 2 December 2007[1]

During his life in activism Nikolay Alexeyev was six times arrested by police for the organisation and participation in unsanctioned public events in Moscow: on 27 May 2006 next to the gates of Alexandrovsky Garden during first Moscow Pride,[90] on 27 May 2007 next to Moscow City Hall during second Moscow Pride,[91] on 2 December 2007 at the polling station where Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was planning to vote in parliamentary elections,[92] on 16 May 2009 during forth Moscow Pride,[93] on 21 September next to Moscow City Hall demanding the resignation of Moscow Mayor on his birthday[94] and on 12 October next to Moscow City Hall while participation in the so called Day of fury.[95]

Campaign for same-sex marriages in Russia

In May 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev launched the campaign for the recognition of same-sex marriages in Russia. He became the lawyer and advisor of a lesbian couple, Irina Fedotova (Fet) and Irina Shipitko, who attempted to register their marriage in Tverskoy civil acts registration office of Moscow on May 12, 2009. They were denied and the legality of this decision was later confirmed by Tverskoy district court and Moscow City Court.[96] In October 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev organized the couple's marriage in Toronto, Canada.[97] In July 2010 two Irinas appealed the Russian ban on same-sex marriages in the European Court of Human Rights.[98]

In November 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev founded "Marriage Equality Russia" in order to fight for the legalization of same-sex marriages in Russia. In January 2010 Ministry of Justice denied to register the organization citing a number of reasons and giving the reference to the Russian Family Code which defines that the marriage is based on the union between a man and a woman.[99] Gagarinsky District court confirmed the legality of the registration denial citing morality grounds.[100] Moscow City Court has not considered the appeal yet.

Campaign against gay blood donation ban in Russia

During several years Nikolay Alexeyev and his fellow activists campaigned for the repeal of the ban on blood donations by homosexual men which was imposed in the regulations of the Russian Health Ministry. On 14 September 2007 gay activists organized an unsanctioned picketing of the Ministry building against the ban.[101] The gathering was dispersed by police forces.[102] The same day Nikolay Alexeyev and a few other activists attempted to donate their blood in Moscow's Central blood transfusion centre but they were turned away.[103] The result of this campaign came in spring 2008 when the Health Ministry amended its regulations and repealed the ban. It was the first legislative change in favor of homosexual people in Russia since the repeal of criminal prosecution for male homosexual conduct in 1993.[104]

Campaign against "homosexual propaganda" ban

In March 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev, together with Moscow Pride activists Nikolay Baev and Irina Fet, launched a campaign against the law of Ryazan region of Russia which prohibit "homosexual propaganda" to minors.[105] Local courts and Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that the limitations are legitimate.[106][107] This case is currently waiting its consideration in the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee.[108][109]

Fighting hate speech

Nikolay Alexeyev consistently supports criminal prosecution of politicians, officials and public figures for the incitement of hatred towards people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2005 he asked for the opening of a criminal case against the leader of "Prezumptsia" committee from Krasnodar Albert Gayamyan for his homophobic statements during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Krasnodar in October 2005. The request was dismissed by the prosecution department.[110][111] In 2006 Nikolay Alexeyev, together with activist Nikolay Baev, unsuccessfully tried to achieve criminal prosecution of Russian mufti Talgat Tadjuddin who said in the interview to Interfax that gays, who would show up at the gay parade, should be whipped because Prophet Muhammad called for killings of homosexuals.[112] In 2008 Nikolay Alexeyev and activists Nikolay Baev and Kirill Nepomnyaschiy asked for criminal prosecution of Tambov region governor Oleg Betin who said in an interview that "gays should be torn and their pieces thrown in the wind". All Russian courts, including the Supreme Court, dismissed the complaints and the activists appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.[113][114]

Campaign against closing of Moscow gay club "Dusha i Telo" ("Body & Soul")

In August 2009 Prefect of Moscow's Northern Administrative District Oleg Mitvol announced his intention to get the leading Moscow gay club "Dusha i Telo" closed. Nikolay Alexeyev and his fellow activists supported the campaign against the closing of the club. In October 2009 Nikolay Alexeyev organized a press conference in the Independent Press Center where the Russian pop stars, including Lolita Milyavskaya, Shura and "Mirazh" band, talked in support of the persecuted venue.[115][116] "Dusha i Telo" was closed but later the courts ruled that the termination of the contract was unlawful, though the club never reopened again. In October 2010 Oleg Mitvol was dismissed from the Prefect position.

Pride House during Sochi Winter Olympics

In August 2010, after his trip to Vancouver and Whistler, Nikolay Alexeyev announced the plans of his organization to open Pride House of LGBT during Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014. While in Canada, he studied similar project, for the first time in Olympics history realized by Vancouver gay activists. The letters of intention to open Pride House in Sochi were sent to the International Olympic Committee and the Organizing Committee of Sochi Olympics.[117]

Campaign for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

Nikolay Alexeyev's involvement with IDAHO started in April 2005 when he first met with Louis-Georges Tin, founder of the International Day Against Homophobia. He accepted to become the coordinator of the Day in Russia.

The same year he offered to organize the first World Conference of IDAHO in Moscow on May 26–27, 2006 during the “Moscow Pride’06 Festival”. The closing press briefing of the conference, which took place three hours before the Moscow Pride, attracted more than 100 journalists and 18 TV crews, giving an unprecedented media tribune both to gay rights in Russia and the IDAHO.

In 2006 Nikolay Alexeyev became Executive Secretary of the Paris based IDAHO Committee when the organization was officially registered in Paris by French authorities. In 2008 he was appointed Vice President of IDAHO Committee.

In February 2009 he played a key role in the recognition of the IDAHO in Luxembourg, convincing Jean Huss, a local MP from the Green Party to introduce a motion in Parliament. On April 23, 2009 the motion was unanimously adopted. [118] [119]

Today Nikolay Alexeyev's activities with IDAHO involve the increase of the network of coordinators around the world, especially in Asia.

Court cases against Russian authorities in international institutions

Nikolay Alexeyev at the European Court of Human Rights where he won the first LGBT case against Russia. 25 February 2010 after ECHR hearing in the case of Schalk & Kopf v. Austria[1]

As of January 2011, Nikolay Alexeyev had over ten complains against Russia filed and pending at the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France).

On February 14, 2009 he, together with other Russian, Belarusian and French activists, organized a protest in the centre of Strasbourg to denounce the inaction of the European Court in considering the legality of Moscow Pride bans.[120]

On October 21, 2010 Nikolay Alexeyev won a case before the European Court concerning prohibition of 2006, 2007 and 2008 Moscow Pride marches and picketings.[121] In Alekseyev v. Russia, the court ruled that Russia breached three articles of the European Convention, including the right to freedom of assembly (Article 11), the right to effective legal remedy (Article 13) and the ban on discrimination (Article 14). The court decided that Russia has to pay to the applicant almost 30,000 euros in compensation. The case marked the first ever international defeat of Russian Government on the issue of gay rights.

As of January 2011, Nikolay Alexeyev had one complaint pending at the UN Human Rights Committee concerning the ban of a picket in front of the Iranian Embassy on July 19, 2008 in Moscow. The action was a symbolic protest asking for Iran authorities to stop killing homosexual people. In his complaint Nikolay Alexeyev suggested that by banning the event Russian authorities breached Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which guarantees the right to freedom of assembly to everyone. The case was initiated at the UN on March 26, 2009. It is the first time that a case concerning an LGBT topic is sent against Russia to this institution. In April 2009 the UN Human Rights Committee gave Russian authorities 6 months to express their position on the case which was done. [122] [123] As of November 2010, the Committee has yet to take a decision on the admissibility and merits of the case.


Nikolay Alexeyev has never been a member of any political parties or movements, trying not to associate LGBT movement with any political forces in Russia. Nevertheless, on 26 May 2007, during the press conference of second Moscow Pride, he announced his intention to put his candidature forward during the forthcoming parliamentary elections in December 2007. He finally never did it.

In August 2010 Nikolay Alexeyev and his fellow activists for the first time supported Strategy 31 demonstrations in Moscow which were initiated in support of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of assembly. At the same time he stressed that gay activists planned to take part in civil protest, not in political demonstration.[124]

Domodedovo Airport arrest

On September 15, 2010 Nikolay Alexeyev was arrested at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow as he was boarding a Swiss Air Lines flight to Geneva. The ostensible reason for the arrest was not clear.[125] Over the subsequent days, the Interfax Belarus news agency reported receiving text messages from him declaring he was seeking political asylum in Belarus and was abandoning his lawsuits regarding the suppression of Moscow Pride. However, LGBT rights activists raised doubts, saying the messages were out of character and wondering, if he had his cell phone, why he had not telephoned his partner or LGBT activists in Minsk.[126] Finally, Nikolay Alexeyev resurfaced in Moscow, contacting Moscow LGBT activists as well as German MP Volker Beck by phone, telling them he was never in Minsk and had not abandoned the lawsuits.[127]

The arrest sparked complaints internationally, including by British MEP Sarah Ludford;[128] a protest was held in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, and activists in the US were urged to telephone the Russian Embassy.[33][129]


  • "Conformism and passivism are now behind us. We managed to generate passion and hope this finds its way into the hearts of many LGBT people in Russia and to revive the spirit of activism"[130]
  • "I thought that the main problem in the gay community is the lack of funding, I was wrong. The essential quality that this movement needs is courage and ideal, without ideal, nothing is possible."
  • "You cannot work on human rights, you can only live with human rights issues. Fighting for human rights cannot be a job. Fighting for human rights is an ideal"[131]

See also

  • Recognition of same-sex unions in Russia

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g
  2. ^ Court condemns Moscow gay pride bans
  3. ^ Text of the ECHR judgment in the case of Alekseyev v. Russia
  4. ^ Russia’s Appeal of Moscow Pride Ban Rejected by the European Court of Human Rights
  5. ^ Gays Demonstrate in Moscow – and Are Not Arrested
  6. ^ "profile on life journal". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Берлинале-2007. С тыльной стороны...
  9. ^ Берлинский кинофестиваль покажет фильм о борьбе российских гей-активистов и властей
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Documentary examines Pride, from protest movement to business concern
  13. ^ Slavic Gay Pride in Moscow - Славянский гей-прайд в Москве
  14. ^ East Bloc Love (2011)
  15. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Nikolai Alekseev Profile". The Guardian (London). Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Un étudiant perd son procès pour discrimination homophobe à l'université de Moscou (fr)". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  23. ^ "First instance Russian court denies sexual orientation claims against Lomonosov Moscow State University". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Case of N. Alekseev v. Lomonosov Moscow State University: Nikulinsky court denied claims but created first precedent in Russia on the issue of sexual orientation". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Russian President's Office Shows Interest in Civil Case of Nikolai Alekseev v. Moscow State University". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Dark Side of Russia's Rainbow". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  28. ^ Организатор московского гей-парада вступил в однополый союз
  29. ^ Alekseev, Nikolai (2010-05-12). "Profile according to Guardian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "IDAHO Group Officially Created in Paris as a Gay NGO". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  31. ^ "List of InterPride Regional Directors". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  32. ^ "Moscou interdit une… «hémorroïdes parade» (fr)". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  33. ^ a b Red Dawn. One man stands at the forefront of Russian gay activism.
  34. ^ "ILGCN World Conference in Bloodied Moscow". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  35. ^ "Russian Gay Activist Tells London Audience He Will Fight On". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  36. ^ [Note: "Global Pride Warrior"]. Note: Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Activists to protest against Moscow's homophobic mayor". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  38. ^ Foley, Conor (2008-05-28). "Pride of Brazil". The Guardian (London). Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Man of the Week (ru)". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ Fighting for gay rights in Russia
  42. ^ TVShow - Studio4 - Nicolai Alexseev
  43. ^ Nicolai Alexeyev about gay rights in Russia
  44. ^ designates The Man of the Year
  45. ^ Николай Александрович Алексеев
  46. ^
  47. ^ Депутат Чуев пожаловался в прокуратуру на организатора гей-парада
  48. ^ Организатор московского гей-парада сообщает, что против него возбудили уголовное дело
  49. ^ Смотрите, кто прошел
  51. ^ "Homophobic Russian pol outed on TV by gay activist". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  52. ^ "Bill Criminalizing Gay Propaganda Rejected by Russian Parliament". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  53. ^ "Главный-герой" НТВ.
  54. ^ Н.Алексеев и Н.Бурляев в ток-шоу на сайте NewTimes.
  55. ^ Интервью Николая Алексеева журналу "The New Times".
  56. ^ "Честный понедельник", Николай Алексеев
  57. ^ Состоится ли гей-парад в Москве?
  58. ^ Ислам – инструмент цензуры?
  59. ^ Сексуальное большинство против сексуального меньшинства
  60. ^ Перспективы проведения гей-парада и кинофестиваля «Бок о бок»», посвященного однополой любви
  61. ^ Состоится ли гей-парад в Москве
  62. ^ Народ против...
  63. ^ Состоится ли гей-парад в Москве?
  64. ^ Нужно ли разрешить гей-парады в Москве
  65. ^ Проверка на толерантность
  66. ^ "Moscow Mayor Says 'Nyet' to Gay Pride in Russian Capital". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  67. ^ Некоторые геи боятся проводить парад в Москве
  68. ^ Геи против мэра
  69. ^ Определение брака
  70. ^ Митволь поссорился с геями и коммунистами
  71. ^ Violence feared over Moscow gay march Archived 7 October 2009 at WebCite
  72. ^ Gay activists stage demo ahead of Eurovision final
  73. ^ "violence feared over Moscow gay march". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  74. ^ New Moscow mayor says yes to protest
  75. ^ Мэр Москвы считает гей-парад "сатанизмом"
  76. ^ Гей-активисты требуют от Лужкова 1 копейку по суду
  77. ^
  78. ^ Лужков обвинил геев в распространении СПИДа: запрет на пропаганду их взглядов в силе
  79. ^ Пресс-секретарь мэра Москвы пресек гей-парад в Лондоне
  80. ^ Пресс-секретаря мэра Москвы подозревают в нападении на организатора гей-парада в столице
  81. ^ Активист гей-движения пожаловался в Скотленд-Ярд на пресс-секретаря Лужкова
  82. ^ "Belarusian, Russian Activists Agree a Slavic Gay Pride for Moscow in May Next Year". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  83. ^ "Slavic Gay Pride will unite Belarusian and Russian activists". Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  84. ^ "Luxembourg Greens Back Gay Rights in Russia and Belarus". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  85. ^ "Tin Joins Activists at UN to Press for Gay Rights in Russia and Belarus". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  86. ^ "Russian Belarusian Gay Activists Launch Brussels Campaign for Freedom of Assembly". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  87. ^ Гомосексуалистам прикрыли лавочку
  88. ^ В Минске разогнан «Славянский гей-парад»
  89. ^ Геи планируют провести в Петербурге еще одну акцию
  90. ^ Милиция поймала главного лидера
  91. ^ В центре Москвы задержаны организатор гей-парада и башкирский депутат
  92. ^ Все жанры выборов
  93. ^ Участникам московского гей-парада предъявили обвинения
  94. ^ В Москве разогнали акцию "Лужков-гомик"
  95. ^ Лидеру гей-движения Алексееву грозит штраф за участие в «Дне гнева» в Москве
  96. ^ Однополый брак не состоялся. Фото
  97. ^ Российские лесбиянки расписались в Торонто
  98. ^ Однополая пара из России обжаловала в ЕСПЧ отказ в регистрации брака
  99. ^ В России пока не будет Движения за брачное равноправие
  100. ^
  101. ^ Минздрав и голубая кровь
  102. ^ У Минздрава задержаны геи-пикетчики
  103. ^ Донорство крови гомосексуалами в России
  104. ^
  105. ^ Организаторам московского гей-парада не дали провести шествие в Рязани
  106. ^ В Рязани гей-активисты признаны виновными в пропаганде гомосексуализма
  107. ^
  108. ^ Рязанские геи потребовали 100 тысяч евро за несостоявшийся митинг
  109. ^
  110. ^ Инициаторы обращения в прокуратуру против организаторов митинга гомофобов требуют привлечь их к уголовной ответственности
  111. ^ Прокуратура вынесла предостережение организатору митинга гомофобов в Краснодаре
  112. ^ Геи продолжают добиваться возбуждения уголовного дела против муфтия Таджуддина
  113. ^ Следственный комитет Тамбова отказался возбуждать дело по заявлению гей-активистов
  114. ^ Секс-меньшинства пожаловались на тамбовского губернатора в Страсбург
  115. ^ Лолита Милявская в поддержку гей-сообщества
  116. ^ Мария Арбатова в поддержку российского гей-сообщества
  117. ^
  118. ^ "Luxembourg Could Become Sixth Country to Recognise IDAHO". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  119. ^ "Luxembourg is the 6th country to recognize May 17 as the Day Against Homophobia". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  120. ^ "Gay Activists Protest Inaction of European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg Demo". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  121. ^ Alekseyev v. Russia (European Court of Human Rights 21 October 2010). Text
  122. ^ "Russian Gay Activists Appeal Ban on Iranian Embassy Picket to the UN Human Rights Committee". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  123. ^ "UN Human Rights Committee Gives Russia 6 Months to Justify Gay Picket Ban in Moscow". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  124. ^ Российские геи решили примкнуть к митингам "несогласных"
  125. ^ Russian Gay Activist Arrested at Moscow Airport As He Was About to Board Swiss Air Lines Flight to Geneva: No reason for arrest yet given by officials – whereabouts not known. UK Gay News. September 15, 2010.
  126. ^ Questions Have to be Answered by Authorities in Russia and Belarus as Doubts Emerge About Well-Being of Russian Gay Activist. UK Gay News. September 17, 2010.
  127. ^ Russian Gay Activist: "I Never Was in Minsk – I Never Sent Any SMS Messages": "Abducted" Alekseev surfaces in Russia, not Belarus. UK Gay News. September 17, 2010
  128. ^ MEP on Russia Gay Rights: Alekseev’s Arrest Is of "Deep Concern". UK Gay News. September 16, 2010
  129. ^ Canning, Paul. BREAKING NEWS: Russian LGBT leader exiled to Minsk? San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. 16 September 2010.
  130. ^ "Moscow Gay Pride Documentary Premiers at National Film Center". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  131. ^ "Nikolai Aleksejev (fin)". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 

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