Olympic officials tackle gay protester on Olympic torch route

Video shows officials hauling man waving rainbow flag off the sidewalk

January 22, 2014|By Michael Gold | The Baltimore Sun

Those wondering how Russia will treat LGBT rights protesters when the Sochi Olympics begin in February might have their answer.

A gay Russian protestor was detained Saturday for waving a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch moved through his hometown north of Sochi, the Associated Press reports.

A video uploaded to YouTube appears to show the man, who the AP identified as Pavel Lebedev, running along the side of the road bearing a rainbow flag. Olympic staffers scuffle with him before hauling him to the sidewalk. He is then questioned by a Russian police official.

The Russian government imposed limits on the right to protest in Sochi, initially banning all protests from the coastal town before deciding to create protest zones.

The incident came one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told Olympic volunteers that LGBT people had nothing to worry about in Sochi, so long as they "just leave kids alone, please."

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