#FreeAli with Voices4
Feruz publishes with the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, covering stories with a focus on LGBTQ+ issues and workers rights. In November of last year, the case for Feruz's deportation came under review and was suspended; it's now pending review by the European Convention on Human Rights.
On Tuesday January 9th, members of the New York City-based nonviolent action group Voices4 gathered across the street from the Russian Consulate-General on East 91st street and demonstrated their call for Feruz to be released and granted asylum in Russia.
The group read aloud excerpts from the diary Ali has maintained since being detained and passed out informational flyers regarding the situation to passersby. The cold air didn't deter the demonstrators nor did the heckling of a nearby pedestrian who recorded the action on his phone. The protest lasted for about an hour before the Voices4 group peacefully dispersed, leaving only placards bearing Ali Feruz's image and calls for his release on the steps of the embassy.
The Voices4 group maintains its mission of support for those in the global LGBTQ+ community who are being oppressed and committing their energy towards the expression that we are all one human family. Ali Feruz has not written in his diary since September 14h, 2017, a quote from his last entry below:
I spend the whole day sitting by the window. I look at the sky through the bars, smoking cigarettes one after the other. I want to walk around the streets of Moscow with a coffee in my hand, chatting with my friends....I’m now completely convinced that I’m not as strong as many people think. I feel that when someone needs help, they shouldn’t be ashamed of asking others in order to save themselves. Help me survive, please.