Russian protestor arrested for waving rainbow flag on torch route
A gay protestor has been detained after waving a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through the town of Voronezh.
Media were alerted to the plight of Pavel Lebedev after his friends posted photos online of the young gay Soviet being wrestled to the snowy ground by Olympic security guards.
The AAP has reported Lebedev is still in the custody of police and is currently undergoing questioning.
“Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” Lebedev told the AAP. Lebedev said Russia’s anti gay laws and growing homophobia were the reason for his protest.
Last year in the wake of anticipated backlash against Russia’s Anti Gay Propaganda Bill, President Vladimir Putin announced a ban on all rallies in Sochi from January 7 - March 21
The Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill was signed into law in June. Since then their have been a number of reports of increased homophobia and hate crimes in Russia.