Peter Tatchell, a long fixture in the LGBT rights movement, was arrested while staging a peaceful demonstration for LGBT+ rights. His one-man protest close to the Kremlin was in support of the gay community in Chechnya. His detention came on the first day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Tatchell was holding a banner supporting gay men who have been violently targeted in a purge in Chechnya while standing next to the statue of Marshal Zhukov close to the Kremlin.
This is the campaigner’s sixth visit to Russia in solidarity with the community there. He was previously arrested twice during protests in Moscow and suffered brain damage after being attacked by Russian neo-Nazis in 2007.
Peter Tatchell, speaking from Moscow before the protest, said:
“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. 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.”