Russians “brutally” arrest former Italian member of parliament at Sochi Olympics

Vladimir Luxuria, a former member of the Italian parliament, was “brutally” arrested today at the Sochi Olympics for walking around with a flag that said “gay is ok” in Italian.

vladimir-luxuria-sochi-featured

Luxuria, who is a trans woman, reportedly phoned Italian gay leader Irma Battaglia, to say that the arrest was “brutal” and “aggressive.”

None of the Russian police spoke English – these are people working the Olympics, and they didn’t even speak English.

Luxuria also said that she remains in police custody, and is now alone in a room with neon lights in her face. She is asking Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino to come to her aid.

Before her arrest, Luxuria, who is a longtime LGBT rights activist in Italy, and who also served as a member of the Italian parliament, posted the following photo to Twitter:

vladimir-luxuria-sochi

The tweet reads:

I am in Sochi!  Greetings with the colors of the rainbow, in Putin’s face!

Luxuria’s protest takes place against a growing, and draconian, crackdown on gay and trans civil rights, but really all human rights, in Russia.

Last year, the Russian parliament passed a law banning gay “propaganda,” which basically bans any speech or actions that could be perceived as “pro-gay,” including quoting a gay person in a newspaper article, or even wearing rainbow suspenders. Certainly, any kind of public protest that even vaguely suggests that being gay is okay is now strictly illegal in all of Russia.

At the same time, Putin’s government has given its tacit, and now public, approval to a neo-Nazi movement that kindaps gays, Jews and blacks and tortures them, on film.

Ivan Tavrin, CEO of Megafon,  who along with Alisher Usmanov, Megafon's second-largest shareholder, control VK.com.

Ivan Tavrin, CEO of Megafon, who along with Alisher Usmanov, Megafon’s second-largest shareholder, control VK.com.

The videos are then published on VK.com (Vkontakte), a Russian social media site that bills itself as “the Facebook of Russia.”  VK.com was founded by Pavel Durov, and is now controlled by two Russians, Ivan Tavrin (CEO of Russian telecom giant Megafon) and billionaire oligarch Alisher Usmanov (Megafon’s second largest shareholder).

Megafon is now in control of VK.com.

tech crunch vk.com megafon

Russian billionaire oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who is the second largest shareholder in Megafon, and now controls VK.com.

Russian billionaire oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who is the second largest shareholder in Megafon, and now controls VK.com.

Megafon’s VK.com has made little effort to take down the neo-Nazi kidnapping videos, and even permits the neo-Nazi organization, called “Occupy Pedophilia,” to use VK.com to organize its anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and racist kidnappings.

Occupy Pedophilia claims to have conducted nearly 1,500 of these kidnappings in the past 18 months.  The kidnappings are spearheaded by Maxim Martsinkevich, aka Tesak, the leader of Occupy Pedophilia, and his ideological “daughter” Ekaterina “Katya” Zigunova, who also goes by the name Katrian Logunova.

After letting Occupy Pedophilia run freely for 18 months, the Russian government finally arrested Martsinkevich on unrelated charges.  He will not be charged for any of the 1,500 kidnappings – kidnappings the Russian government recently defended.

occupy pedophilia russia gay

Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg leader Ekaterina Zigunova, aka Katerina Logunova, interrogates a gay man she and her 13 henchman kidnapped, beat, and tortured.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • John ‘Genryu’

    Ah yes, those lovely Russians who the American right wing are so in love with.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Thanks.

  • paulakey

    We need to keep up the pressure. The Nigerians and Russians are passionate about their soccer.
    FIFA needs to ban both nations. The Nigerians have qualified and they will play on American soil.
    Not sure about the Russians.
    http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com

  • Anonymous

    Skinhead leader Ekaterina should be given a few days off. I mean she might menstruate and need an ambulance.

  • 2karmanot

    yep!

  • Anonymous

    Bill is always 2 steps ahead, love him or hate him (I love him)

  • 2karmanot

    That Russian uniform and accessories by Ralph Lauren saved the day.

  • 2karmanot

    Not without a major remuneration and spot light diva time. Maybe La Diva could do a skate routine to the theme from Dr. Zhivago and donate the proceeds to saving the puppies in Sochi. —just saying.

  • Anonymous

    The suppression of workers and protesters here is definitely worrying.

  • Anonymous

    Who needs workers’ rights anyway?

  • Sweetie

    Maybe because he likes to prance around in Russian military uniforms whilst spewing trite homophobic invective against gay activism?

  • Sweetie

    Stalinism wasn’t communism, but whatever.

  • Sweetie

    Authoritarians relish the thought that people will give them an excuse to be even more draconian.

  • Sweetie

    And then some people claim that our lives are so full of luxury because we can allegedly pretend to be heterosexuals.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Thanks, I enjoy posting the truth. It’s needs to be aired.

  • ronbo

    Those who are first to recognize and speak out are often treated the worst by those they seek to help. Keep up the good work Bill.

    One learns nothing when all they hear are echos of their own thoughts. I always read your comments and appreciate your skating on the razor’s edge.

  • ronbo

    America has free-speech cages, far from the crowds.

  • 4th Turning

    When I saw Sergei’s hand all I could picture were the hands and bodies of our
    brothers and sisters-not meaning to sound morbid or anything. Just wanting to
    remember and not pass on to the next sensational news item. I’ve always pictured
    evil as something corrosive eating away at the soul and eventually bringing about
    self-destruction. Maybe this process is underway and we shall see the pendulum
    swing back. Meanwhile, there are a bunch of wrongs that need addressing in this
    country, too.

  • Bill_Perdue

    So does NBC/MSNBC, Coke and the others.

  • Bill_Perdue
  • Bill_Perdue

    They’re rapidly embracing capitalism and it’s attendant police state mentality. So are the Maoists in China.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The general attack on civil rights and liberties in Russia has the same origins as Obama’s attack on civil rights and liberties here.

    For a thorough examination of the criminal attacks on the rights of our own and other communities in Russia see Alex Kanes article “l0 Reasons Russia Is a Much Crueler Place Than the Cuddly Snowy Image It’s Projecting at Sochi”
    http://www.alternet.org/world/awful-russian-policies?page=0%2C2&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    And for a similar analysis of the anti-Bill of Rights criminality of the Obama administration and the Democrat/Republican party in the US see http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175807/ http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175807/

    Both regimes aim to suppress widespread and growing sentiments by workers including unorganized workers in opposition to the wealth of the rich and the pauperization of working people, of anti-war sentiments and of demands by people of color and the LGBT communities for equality.

    Obama’s attack on the Bill of Rights has wide support in the Democrat/Republican party. One of its aims is to implement racist policies of extrajudicial detention and murder of US citizens. The other is to crush internal opposition to the American regime by antiwar groups. unions, workers organizing in fast food and big box industries, workers fighting for a good minimum wage of at least $15.00 an hour and struggles by people of color.

    Putin’s attacks are meant to do the same and to strengthen the internal security police, clamp down on dissent and in general to return to the era of Stalinist terror, this time in defense of the rich, of whom Putin himself is preeminent instead of defending a dictator like Stalin. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-17/vladimir-putin-the-richest-man-on-earth.html )

    It’s the job of the left and civil libertarians in both countries to defend unions, the antiwar movement, people of color and whistleblowers and the growth of movements to do just that are gaining ground here and in the RF.

    That means more than sending money to civil liberties and civil rights defense committees although that’s important too. It also means creating political alternatives to Putin’s United Russia and here to the Democrat/Republican party.

    Below photos from a recent demonstration in Moscow critical of Putin’s attacks on civil liberties (note the rainbow flag) and a demonstration of Walmart workers.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    They got paid their bribes, why should they care?

  • kandy830

    My Uncle Aaron just got an
    awesome 12 month old Audi A5 Convertible only from working part time off a home
    computer… find out here G­a­i­n­s­p­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

  • ckg1

    And let’s not talk about all the people who’ve died in the construction of all these facilities. Or, for that matter, the fact that the majority of the $51 billion cost($30 billion)has simply vanished into the pockets of the powerful. What is this, Iraq?

  • Anonymous

    The people are employed, they’re just not getting their own money.

  • goulo

    Tangentially, I just read this interesting essay about Putin’s possible motivations:

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-world-through-vladimir-putins-eyes/

    snippet:

    > > >

    To Putin, Western lectures look like sheerest hypocrisy. The West,
    in its banking scandals, proved itself as corrupt as Russia, and on a
    much larger scale. In Iraq it proved that it would brutalize non-Western
    populations for no reason. In Greece it has driven its own population
    into penury, and all through the West the surveillance state rises, and
    people continue to lose their rights.

    Meanwhile Russia’s unemployment rate is better than most Western nations.

    None of this is to deny that Putin is not an evil man, and though I
    don’t know if he’d put it that way himself, I doubt he has any
    misconceptions about the fact that he’s a strong man; a man on horseback
    and a man who has committed innumerable war crimes, while ruling through
    fear and intimidation as well as popularity.

    Russia’s got problem, big ones, and Sochi has highlighted them.
    Putin has failed to transition the economy from resources, and he has
    not kept corruption under limits: corruption is one thing, that the
    system can’t be made to work in high profile circumstances like Sochi,
    is another.

    < < <

  • 2karmanot

    Wow, what a story!

  • 4th Turning

    Remember roman emperor constantine and his buds morphed into the first pope.

  • 4th Turning

    See the 60 Minutes piece for the number $250,000,000 will buy.

  • 4th Turning

    Appears nbc has copyrights on all ppp’s too…
    I’m still glad the us is doing a pretty good job of in your face-wouldn’t mind
    seeing that hockey team pull off another 1980 win. Then again maybe not
    when I remember who the likely targets of retribution will be.

  • Jim Olson

    I have no idea how Johnny Weir hasn’t been detained.

  • 2patricius2

    They have quite a choice for the summer Olympics. They could also pick Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran or Iraq, Jamaica, or a number of other countries as well.

  • 2patricius2

    Do the mountains of Afghanistan get snow?

  • Dan

    Given their recent track record, I am surprised 60 Minutes didn’t do a puff piece on Putin in exchange for “exclusive access” to the Kremlin.

  • Anonymous

    Think of how many palaces you could buy!

  • ComradeRutherford

    More than ALL previous Olympics COMBINED!

  • ComradeRutherford

    Well, the IOC is very concerned about appearances. Only about appearances, so the Uganda Games would obviously be Summer…

  • bkmn

    The IOC lives on a steady diet of bribes. Politics and protection of human rights are trumped by the lure of money.

    I would not be surprised to see the IOC award the winter games to Uganda. As long as they get their cut do the athletes need snow?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah most are not even informed about what the government is really doing. And those that have an inkling can’t protest at all. Not a free country

  • 4th Turning

    Hopefully I’m not the only one to catch this tonight on 60 Minutes…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-fight-to-expose-corruption-in-russia/

  • lynchie

    The general population didn’t have a choice as to the form of government. They got rid of communism and the same people remain in charge with all their enemies and hatreds intact. Many Russians would go back to communism because at least they got paid regularly and there was some order. Now everyone is stealing, bribing, cheating, killing and promoting hatred. The average russian is not unlike the right wing here, can’t figure out what is causing their poverty, hunger and homelessness like in America where the TP gives them illegal immigrants, the gay community, minorities and the poor. The russian government gives them the gay community.

  • lynchie

    No. $50,000,000,000. That’s $50 BILLION with a B.

  • Anonymous

    I liked the subtle throwing of athletes under the bus. “Don’t argue politics on the backs of the athletes” Yet that’s exactly what the IOC did…

  • http://buddybest.tripod.com/index.html BuddyNovinski

    Pogroms have returned…to Russian disadvantage and disgrace!

  • Anonymous

    True, and sad. But at least we have protection against the idiots here.

  • paulakey

    We are everywhere – and we will raise our voices, make phone calls to homophobic Embassys and march! We will NOT be silenced. If you are reading this blog – do something.
    http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com NOT a porn site.

  • Thom Allen

    Reportedly, Luxuria has been released.

  • Thom Allen

    You know with a few changes to your first paragraph, it sounds a lot like a major segment of the US.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I wasnt correcting you :) Just adding my two cents :)

  • StraightGrandmother

    This is what is going on in Russia, we have seen this before

  • http://liberawheeler.blogspot.com/ Elijah Jacob Shalis

    It isn’t fair, us gay people have to show the rainbow colors or equal rights sign or something that demonstrates our sexuality because people of race don’t have to do that, because it is obvious. I wish our olympic representatives would at least wear a rainbow flag lapel pin or something.

  • Island In The Sky

    $50b…billion

  • ComradeRutherford

    The IOC approves of this gay bashing.

  • Anonymous

    I said “developing” – not sure what you mean? They are definitely not a 1st world country.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s not a developed western country.

  • Indigo

    Just the like the USA back in the 1950s

  • dommyluc

    What I wonder is if Russia may create a whole new class of gay terrorists. If you have no rights and are brutalized constantly, what else are you supposed to do? Gandhi-like passive resistance isn’t going to work in a place like Russia. And gay people can basically hide in the background. I wonder if any of these morons in the Russian oligarchy have figured that out yet. Or maybe they think every gay man wears a cocktail dress and every gay woman looks and dresses like Roy Orbison. And pardon my crudity, but I would dearly love to see someone kick the teeth in of that c*** Ekaterina Zigunova.

  • Anonymous

    Soon after the Olympics the politicians will stop leeching off the athletes, and continue to leech off poor people. Lest we forget, this is a $50m spectacle.

  • Anonymous

    I really feel for the good people in Russia, but there is a huge problem there that hasn’t changed overnight. It’s so much bigger than just gay hate, it’s a general lack of human rights, wealth distribution and education. It’s a shame that talented athletes are being used to promote the idea that Russia is some “tranformed” country. I fear for what will happen after the games.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Johnny Weir can still make amends ;-)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Wouldn’t that be a story

  • 2patricius2

    Hmm. Wonder what would happen if one or more of the gay members of the US delegation were to do the same thing. Wonder what the implications would be.

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