Gay rights campaigner detained after protesting near Kremlin

A gay rights campaigner has been detained in Moscow after staging a one-man protest near the Kremlin.

Peter Tatchell was apprehended near the statue of Marshal Zhukov, in a public square which was busy with football fans, while holding a poster attacking Russian president Vladimir Putin.

It read: “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people.”

Several police officers moved in to detain him and told him he had broken the law in Russia.

He was allowed to walk to a nearby police car where he was questioned before being transferred to another car and being driven away to a police station.

Mr Tatchell shouted “OK” as he left the first vehicle before being flanked by two officers in the car which drove him away.

In a statement before the protest, Mr Tatchell said: “President Putin has failed to condemn and act against the homophobic witch-hunts in Chechnya, which have seen scores of LGBT+ people arrested and tortured, with some even being murdered.

“Russia’s 2013 anti-gay law against so-called ‘homosexual propaganda’ has been used to criminalise peaceful LGBT+ protests, sack LGBT+ teachers and suppress welfare organisations that support LGBT+ teenagers.

“Little action has been taken by the Russian government and police to crack down on far right extremists who target LGBT+ people for violent and humiliating assaults – including the instigators of the current threats to bash and stab LGBT+ football fans at the World Cup.”

He said it was his sixth visit to the country, where he said he has twice been arrested during protests and suffered brain damage after being attacked by Russian neo-Nazis in 2007.

- Press Association


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