Archive for the ‘Sergei Androsenko’ Category

Russian Gay activists unveil plans for their Slavic Pride on Eurovision

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Nikolai Alekseev

“Gay Equality, No Compromise”

MOSCOW (GayRussia.Ru) Yesterday (05.05.2009) in Moscow took place the annual press conference of the Moscow Pride movement. For two hours, organizers of the event answered questions of local and foreign journalist about plans for the May 16 Slavic Pride march but also about Gay Rights in Russia.

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Speaking at the press conference where Nikolai Alekseev, chief organizer, Irina Fet, Sergey Androsenko, Maria Arbatova, feminist and writer and Eduard Murzin, former deputy and head of center Tolerance.

Like every year, the press conference showed a massive interest with more than 50 journalists packed in the room.

“Moscow Pride is an incredible platform which allows us to speak and get attention from the public not only about Freedom of Assembly but about gay rights in general in Russia every year” said Nikolai Alekseev in introduction.

“There has not been any more powerful initiative to put gay rights in the society in the history of the Russian LGBT movement” he added.

2009 sees the fourth attempt to host a March for the Rights of Sexual Minorities in Moscow. This year, the event which is to be held together with Belarusian activists has been re-branded as the “Slavic Pride”. It is also expected to take place next year in Minsk, Belarus, for the first time.

slavicpride1Nikolai Alekseev further explained that this year’s march on the day of the Eurovision Song Contest Final is planed on purpose:

“There will never be a better time to raise the question in this country” said Nikolai Alekseev.

“If Medvedev and Luzhkov position Russia as a European country and invite Eurovision, the question of [gay] rights should proceed in a European way.”

“It does not make sense that Russia would accept to watch gay singers performing on the stage, and ban gay activists from marching.”

Organizers applied for 4 public actions to take place in Moscow on May 16th giving a wide range of variants to the authorities to allow at least one of events.

A march was applied at the City Hall, and 2 pickets were applied at the Central Prefecture.

In addition, they asked the President for permission to hold a march in the garden adjacent to the walls of Kremlin.

Leonid Krutakov, a spokesperson for the City Hall said last week that “all attempts to hold such events will be firmly stopped by the authorities”.

However, speaking to AP last night, Mr Krutakov seemed to have softened his position explaining that the decision will be taken only by the Mayor of Moscow.

Activists told journalists that their action would take place irrespective of the decision of the authorities. Right to peaceful marches and Freedom of Assembly is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution and the European Convention for Human Rights.

Several cases are pending at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the 2006, 2007 and 2008 banned Moscow Pride but the Court is not expected to take any decision before another 3 to 4 years.

In March, the organizers appealed to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of Europe to remind Russia of its obligations towards Freedom of Assembly for all.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is known for its opposition to permit gays marching in his city. In January 2007, he qualified gay prides as “satanic gatherings”.

Officially, President Medvedev has never expressed a position on gay rights. Last year, his services denied answering a similar application to hold a march next to the Kremlin. A case was recently filed with the ECHR.

“President Medvedev’s position on gay rights is a well kept secret behind Kremlin’s wall. At the State level, we only know the relatively neutral position of former President Putin after he answered a question from journalists in 2007” said Nikolai Alekseev.

Asked about possible trouble with the police and protesters, Nikolai Alekseev answered:

“Several Embassies are concerned about the safety of their nationals who will travel to Moscow to attend both our actions and the Eurovsion. I know that these concerned have been raised officially with the government.”

Speaking about the actions planed around the Slavic Pride, the organizers explained that they will associate gays and lesbians from all Russia.

A series of talk shows will be broadcasted from May 13 to May 17 on Gay-Radio.Ru, the first Web Gay radio in Russia and a partner of the Slavic Pride. Freedom of Assembly, Family Rights, and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia are among the issues to be discussed.

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Irina Fet

“Broadcasting our events through the web will make them accessible to those who are far away from Moscow and who cannot travel or who are just not ready to take part in a public action.” explained Ira Fet.

Ms Fet also told journalists that she will apply together with her girlfriend for a marriage on May 12 in Moscow.

Nikolai Alekseev explained that if the Moscow authorities deny registering the marriage, the couple will wed in Canada and seek recognition of their union in Russia.

“Everything is ready, and we are both very excited” said Ms Fet.

The Slavic Pride Festival also welcomes this year foreign activists like Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell and Andy Thayer from Gay Liberation Network in Chicago.

Tatchell and Thayer will speak “Live from Moscow after the Slavic Pride” on Saturday 17 giving a summary to the international community before the Eurovision ceremony. The program will be accessible online via Gay-Radio.Ru

“More than ever, this year we want to celebrate gay activism and courage. Our determination to fight for our rights is unchanged since we started in 2005” said Nikolai Alekseev.

This year’s Moscow Pride slogan “Gay Equality, No Compromise” is also the name of a new campaign launched by the organizers. The fight for same sex marriage in Russia is the first initiative of this campaign.

Activists will also remit the award of the “Rainbow Hero of the Russian Gay movement” which will celebrate the most courageous activist selected by a Russian panel.

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Maria Arbatova

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Sergey Androsenko

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Eduard Murzin

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Tin Joins Activists at UN to Press for Gay Rights in Russia, Belarus.

Letter is sent to the UN General Secretary after public protest.

http://www.gayrussia.ru/

Louis-Georges Tin, the president of the International Day Against Homophobia committee, joined gay activists from Russia and Belarus on Monday at the United Nations to press for gay human rights in the two countries.

“I salute the determination of the LGBT activists from Russia and Belarus,” Mr. Tin told UK Gay News last evening.

“But,” he pointed out, “I regret that the UN Human Rights Commission has not given any firm commitment to solve the matter of Freedom of Assembly in their respective countries.”

On Sunday, the activists and Mr. Tin, who two years ago originated the concept of a United Nations declaration which came to fruition last December in New York, took part in a symbolic protest in front of the United Nations in Geneva.

“We came here to show that such event cannot be organized in our country,” said Nikolai Baev.

With banners reading “Russia and Belarus banned all gay manifestation. UN must act” and “Everyone has the right to freedom of assembly”, the activists handed-in a letter to the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

“The universal declaration for Human Rights says that anyone has the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Since 2006 no action has been taken by the UN to guaranty Freedom of Assembly for LGBT in Russia and Belarus,” the letter reads.

Yesterday, the Russian-Belarusian delegation of gay activists, again accompanied by Mr. Tin, with the UN Human Rights High Commissioner office.

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“One of the conclusions we made after our meeting with this institution is that there is a gap between what we, as activists, face in our countries and what they usually know,” said Mr. Baev.

“We will keep putting pressure on all these human rights institutions,” Nikolai Alekseev added.

The meeting concluded five days of visits to the European institutions and the UN.

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A statement, addressed to the President of the Republic of Belarus, has been sent to the Presidential Administration. This statement accused the Initiative of Young Gays of homosexual propaganda in Belarus, of summons to the unendorsed meetings, of insulting the government and the President of Belarus and of disinformation of the international society about the social and political life in the country, as gayby.org reports.

In this letter from the Russian Federation citizen Sergei Androsenko (the leaders of Belarussian Initiative of Young Gays) is called a self-appointed leader of the unregistered radical social and political organization.

The author of the letter demands to find out the true leader of the mentioned organization and to institute criminal proceedings against him for the unregistered organization’s activity and for insulting the state.

«It is clear, that this statement was written by neither Saint Petersburg resident nor even by an ardent homophobic person. I am sure that the letter is written by a common Belarussian careless gay. Nobody but a person involved in Belarussian LGBT life could get acquainted in such a detail with the site which is written in classical Belarussian language, could give references to the site materials and in general to write such a nonsense» – Sergei Androsenko stated.

However, having talked to Sergei, law-enforcement officials claimed that at the present moment the initiative is free of any crime though the amenability can be possible in the future.

http://www.pride.by/en/show.php?id=25

Svyatoslav Sementsov
Co-president TEMA – Information Center





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