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Russian Police Arrest British LGBT Protester as World Cup Opens

HeadlineJun 15, 2018

The quadrennial World Cup kicked off in Moscow Thursday, with home team Russia defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the soccer tournament. Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the match in a VIP booth with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whose military is currently waging a U.S.-backed assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah. As the World Cup got underway, police led veteran British LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell away in handcuffs, after he held a sign outside the Kremlin reading, “Putin Fails to Act Against Chechnya Torture of Gay People.” Human rights groups say authorities in the Russian-controlled Republic of Chechnya rounded up more than 100 gay men in Grozny last year, detained them without charges and tortured them in what many have called a “gay pogrom.”

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