Gay activist held over protest at the Kremlin
BRITISH human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested in Moscow shortly before yesterday’s World Cup opening ceremony.
Mr Tatchell, who has stood for Parliament, was led away by officers after unfurling a banner outside the Kremlin protesting about Russia’s treatment of gay men.
He was later released and bailed to appear at a police station in the capital on July 26.
Mr Tatchell, who was unhurt, was made to sign a Russian police form that he did not understand.
Last night, he said he had written to Moscow’s police chief asking for his case to be axed on the grounds he is flying home on Monday.
Mr Tatchell, 66, was protesting about the torture and imprisonment of 100 gay men in Chechnya.
Dozens have fled fearing they will be targeted for their sexuality.
“I was exercising my lawful right to protest under the Russian constitution,’’ Mr Tatchell said.
“Getting arrested is standard for Russians who protest for LGBT rights or against corruption, economic injustice and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its bombing of civilians in Syria. Unlike brave Russian protesters I have the ‘protection’ of a British passport, which means my fate was mild compared to what often happens to Russians who dare to challenge the Putin regime.
“Little action has been taken by the Russian government to crack down on far-Right extremists who target LGBT people for violent and humiliating assaults.”
It was the third time Mr Tatchell has been arrested in Russia.
He said he suffered brain damage after he was attacked by neo-Nazis in 2007.
Mr Tatchell protesting yesterday about the treatment of gay people in Russia
Mr Tatchell is led away by police