Canada unresponsive to kidnapping of Russian gay activist (opposition MPs say Canada needs to fight more actively for queer rights abroad)

Published: September 29, 2010

In light of the federal government’s decision not to protest the recent kidnapping of a Russian gay activist, opposition MPs say Canada needs to fight more actively for queer rights abroad.

Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai Alexeyev says he was kidnapped by Russian authorities on Sept 15 and pressured to withdraw his human rights complaint against Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Luzhkov repeatedly banned Pride parades in the Russian capital, and he called the events "satanic." Days after his release, Alexeyev held a protest at Moscow City Hall, where he and a handful of other protesters were arrested.

"We have not made a formal protest in this case. However, we continue to monitor closely the human rights situation in Russia," says a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs. "The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy. Canada stands up for human rights and takes principled positions on important issues to promote freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world."

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