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Peter Tatchell allowed to fly home after gay rights protest in Russia

Peter Tatchell allowed to fly home after gay rights protest in Russia

Peter Tatchell flies home to UK

Veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell left Russia to return to the UK this morning. It follows his arrest and detainment in Moscow last week.

Tatchell posted a photograph of himself to his Twitter aboard a plane this morning. The accompanying caption read: ‘Job done. Goodbye Moscow. No problem at immigration despite my scheduled court appearance on 26 June. It was such a honour to support the heroic Russian LGBT+ activists of ⁦@rulgbtnet⁩ and @lgbtsportRussia’

Tatchell arrested over World Cup protest

Tatchell went to Moscow to coincide with the FIFA World Cup tournament. He was arrested on Thursday while standing in Red Square holding a placard saying: ‘Putin fails to go against Chechnya torture of gay people.’

Peter Tatchell being questioned by police last week outside the Kremlin
Peter Tatchell questioned by police last week outside the Kremlin (Photo: Peter Tatchell Foundation)

Police too Tatchell to Tverskaya Police Station. They questioned and charged him, and released him a couple of hours later. Tatchell posted a statement afterwards detailing what had happened.

‘I am required to appear in court on 26 June for violating Federal Law 54 and Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin and during the World Cup.’

He said he’s written a letter to the Chief of Police of Kitay-Gorod police district, requesting that the court appearance is voided, ‘on the grounds that I am flying back to the UK on 18 June.

‘I have been told I will be free to leave Russia on that date as planned. I spent one hour and 40 minutes in police custody, from the moment I was detained near the Kremlin to the moment of my release from the police station.

‘Senior officers were stern but the apprehending officer very helpful, friendly and polite. I presume I was well treated, partly because I am a UK citizen and because a senior British Embassy consular official, Colin Wells, contacted the police.

‘I guess the Russians also did not want to be seen as being heavy-handed during the World Cup.’

In his Tweet today, he said that he faced no problems leaving the country.

A spokesperson for the Peter Tatchell Foundation tells GSN the court case is currently still scheduled to take place. However, Tatchell has no intention of returning to Moscow to attend.

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