IOC OK With Arrest of Gay Rights Protesters in Russia
BY Neal Broverman
February 08 2014 1:30 PM ET
The official Olympic organization says it will not take action after 14 activists were arrested for peacefully protesting on Friday in Russia's two largest cities.
Four activists were arrested in St. Petersburg for simply holding a banner that made no reference to "gay" or "LGBT." Their banner read, "Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic movement." Ten people in Moscow's Red Square were also arrested when they sang the national anthem while holding rainbow flags. Some who were detained said they were punched, choked, kicked, and threatened with rape before being released.
"We understand that the protesters were quickly released," IOC's head of media relations told Buzzfeed. "As in many countries in the world, in Russia, you need permission before staging a protest. We understand this was the reason they were temporarily detained."
Throughout Russia, 61 protesters were arrested on Friday.