2010-09-30 10:38:00

Alexeyev allowed to hold protest, not gay pride parade - Moscow authorities

Moscow, September 30, Interfax - The prefecture of Moscow's Central Administrative District has said that it gave no permission for a gay pride parade to be held in Moscow on October 1.

"The district prefecture officially states that its officials gave no consent for a gay pride parade to be held on October 1, contrary to what gay pride parade organizer Nikolay Alexeyev wrote in his blog," the prefecture's spokesperson told Interfax.

Alexeyev did apply for a picket with up to 20 participants to boycott Swiss Airlines outside its representative office in the capital, the spokesperson said.

"Alexeyev asked for permission to hold this rally after an incident that happened to him at a Moscow airport. The incident was not directly related with sexual minorities. After receiving an application the prefecture gave consent for holding the picket. The application did not state that the protest has anything to do with sexual minorities. If the picket turns into a rally other than as stated in the application, law enforcement agencies will be ordered to immediately disperse the rally," the official told.

The picket is due to be held between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on October 1.

Earlier, Alexeyev told Interfax that he would seek an inquiry into his detention at the Domodedovo Airport.

"I want to demand an inquiry into what happened and institute legal actions against the Domodedovo Airport and the Swiss airline company," Alexeyev said.

On September 15, after going through passport and customs control at the airport, from which he was going to fly to Switzerland, he was detained by police and border officials who said his boarding pass contained no stamp proving his awareness about flight safety rules.

"When the plane departed, five persons in plainclothes arrived at the airport and without introducing themselves or explaining their actions, took me to a police station in the town of Kashira," Alexeyev said.

At the police station, the people were trying to convince me to withdraw lawsuits filed with the European Court of Human Rights against what in my view was an illegal refusal by the Moscow authorities to allow gay pride parades, he said.

Security officers instructed a Swiss Airlines official to remove the checked-in luggage from the plane bound for Geneva, he said.

Swiss Airlines officials were not immediately available for comment on this information.