Australian born prominent British LGBTI rights advocate Peter Tatchell has been arrested in front of the Kremlin ahead of the opening of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow.
The Peter Tatchell Foundation released an image that showed Peter Tatchell holding a sign while standing near the Kremlin that highlighted the ongoing crackdown against gay men in Chechnya.
Tatchell was speaking with a police officer as two reporters with microphones stood behind him.
Tatchell, 66, has said on Twitter after his release from a Moscow police station that he has been charged with violating a Russian law and a presidential degree that “prohibit all protests near the Kremlin” during the World Cup, which began on Thursday. Tatchell said he has been ordered to appear in court on June 26.
“Glad to stand in solidarity with Russian and Chechen LGBTs,” he tweeted.
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 British Embassy in Moscow on Twitter confirmed Tatchell’s release.
“Our staff in Moscow are assisting Peter Tatchell who was arrested, and subsequently released, in Russia earlier today,” it said. “We have spoken to the local authorities and are pleased to confirm that he is well and has now been released.”
Tatchell has since spoken to ABC News in Australia and stated that he has a ticket booked out of Russia on June 18 and he expects to be on that flight and hopefully not stopped from leaving the country.
The World Cup will take place in Russia through July 15.