British LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell has been arrested in Russia for peacefully protesting Vladimir Putin’s handling of LGBTQ issues in the country.
According to various sources, Tatchell was taken away by police earlier today ahead of the opening World Cup match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Tatchell was engaged in a one-man peaceful protest in Red Square in Moscow when he was apprehended by police. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 26.
Tatchell has been released from jail and charged with violating federal law and presidential decree. A defiant Tatchell quickly took to Twitter upon his release.
Just released from Kitay-Gorod police station in Moscow. Due to appear in court on 26 June, charged with violating Federal Law 54 & Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin & during World Cup. Glad to stand in solidarity with Russian & Chechen LGBTs pic.twitter.com/c5FoDbHF90— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) June 14, 2018
The anti-LGBTQ atmosphere in Russia is already, on the first day of the World Cup, proving to be everything we were told it was. In addition to this arrest, a gay French couple was brutally attacked in St. Petersburg.
We will be watching Tatchell’s legal journey in Russia, and to see if he or others stage more protests there. We remain big supporters of Tatchell and his freedom of speech, whether that be in England or Russia.