PROTEST

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

Gay rights cam­paigner Peter Tatchell has been re­leased af­ter be­ing ar­rested in Moscow fo l low ing a one - man protest near the Krem­lin.

Mr Ta t c h e l l was de­tained near the statue of Mar­shal Zhukov in a pub­lic square which was busy with foot­ball fans ahead of the first game of the World Cup, while hold­ing a poster at­tack­ing Rus­sian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

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

Sev­eral po­lice of­fi­cers moved in to de­tain Mr Tatchell 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. He was re­leased on bail around an hour later and the Peter Tatchell Foun­da­tion said he had been “treated well”.

Ear­lier, Mr Tatchell de­fended his right to protest, say­ing: “I was ex­er­cis­ing my law­ful right to protest, un­der the Rus­sian con­sti­tu­tion, which guar­an­tees free­dom of ex­pres­sion and the right to protest in Ar­ti­cles 29 and 31.

“A one-per­son protest, which is what I did, re­quires no per­mis­sion from the au­thor­i­ties and the po­lice.

He said he had been treated more le­niently than Rus­sian pro­test­ers be­cause of his Bri­tish pass­port and said he was “awed” by their courage.

Peter Tatchell

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