Russian activist charged over TV outing

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Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be brought before a court after he outed a Russian politician on live television.

The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.

Last week the Moscow prosecutor’s office completed their criminal investigation and confirmed there is a case against Mr Alexeyev under Russian Criminal Code for slander and insult.

The case is expected to be heard early next year.

To prove that he is guilty of slander, Russian investigating authorities will have to demonstrate that calling Mr Chuev ‘gay’ spoilt his reputation or dignity.

Speaking on the talk show K baryeru! on 21st June Mr Alexeyev, who was convicted of a minor offence for his role in May’s banned Mosow Pride march, outed the conservative politician.

Mr Chuev is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights, and introduced proposals to the Duma to outlaw the “promotion” of homosexuality and ban “gay propaganda.”

He lost his seat in parliamentary elections earlier this month.

Mr Alexeyev claimed that Mr Chuev’s gay relationships were well-known in the 1990s before he became a politician, and called him a coward and a liar.

It was the first time a politician had been outed in Russia.

Mr Alexeyev said the court hearing will be “very thrilling and exciting because we are planning to invite our witnesses whose names we did not disclose during the investigation fearing pressure from the prosecution.”

He claimed that the criminal case against him was conducted with “multiple breaches of legislation and the investigators failed to find any prove of my guilt.

“The court has no other way than to declare me innocent.”

Mr Alexeyev has claimed that the criminal investigation is an attempt to intimidate him into dropping a series of legal actions he is bringing against the Russian authorities in the European Court of Human Rights.

“It is clearly one other example of Russia becoming an authoritarian state where people do not have any right to express themselves and speak freely,” he said.

“And the Russian authorities particularly do not like those who reveal bitter truth about them.”

The Russian media have tried to link Moscow Pride with the exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky, with reports he was planning to give $100m (£50m) to finance gay Pride events throughout Russia.