A young teen in Russia attending the Olympic torch relay that rode through his hometown of Voronezh was detained by police — and Olympic officials — after he held up a rainbow flag.
The image above shows Pavel Lebedev being detained by Olympic officials.
He is now being hailed as a hero with more courage than the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by LGBT activists.
Not only did police detain Lebedev, but blogger John Aravosis, who calls it “unbelievable” that “the official Olympics staff is taking part in the gay-bashing,” offers proof that the uniformed man in the screenshot above is an Olympic official.
In the video below, you can see Lebedev holding up the rainbow flag — a brave act. Law enforcement officials, and the man in the above image, an Olympic official, immediately pounce and detain him.
But so did Olympic security personnel — which is a major concern, as their job is not to enforce Russia’s laws, but to protect the Olympic facilities, athletes, and attendees.
“Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive,” the AP reported Saturday. “Lebedev, reached by The Associated Press on the phone, said he was still in the police station and undergoing questioning.”
“Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” Lebedev told the AP, which added he was “citing growing homophobia in Russia as the main reason for his protest.”
— Queer Nation NY (@QueerNationNY) January 19, 2014
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