Ten LGBT activists were arrested at Sochi Olympics HQ in Moscow for daring to defy Russia’s anti-gay laws today (25 September).
The group, led by gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, tried to hold a protest against the ban against public rallies during the Olympic Games in Sochi next year.
According to eyewitness reports, once police seized a poster calling for the end to homophobia in Russia the group were immediately arrested at around 2pm (local time).
Spirits appear to be high in the group, having taken a picture in the police van and posted it on social media.
The group had requested formally to be able to protest peacefully, but were denied by authorities.
Speaking to Gay Star News last week, Alekseev said: ‘The denial [from Moscow] was based on the federal law banning “homosexual propaganda”.
‘They are using it to ban all protests wherever or whenever you apply. It is just being used as a pretext.’
While the group expected to be arrested, they hope it will prove embarrassing for both the Russian authorities and the International Olympic Committee.
UPDATE: Alekseev has said after four hours, all 10 activists have been released by police.
He said: ‘All charged with unsanctioned event, facing big fines.’