In the first known incident of Russia’s crackdown of LGBT demonstrations during Olympic events, a young teenager was detained by police and Olympic officials after he held up a rainbow flag during a Russian Olympic torch relay in his hometown of Voronezh.
In the video, teenager Pavel Lebedev can be seen waiving a rainbow flag before law enforcement officials and an Olympic official grab and detain him.
“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.”