Vladimir Luxuria, center, a former Communist lawmaker in the Italian parliament and prominent crusader for transgender rights, is led away by friends to attend a women’s ice hockey match after posing for photos on the Olympic Plaza at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Luxuria was soon after detained by police upon entering the Shayba Arena. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday defended the removal of an Italian gay rights activist from a Sochi arena, saying she was “escorted from there peacefully” and not detained.
Former Italian lawmaker Vladimir Luxuria was taken away by four unidentified men in a car with Olympic markings as she tried to enter an arena Monday night for a women’s hockey game.
Luxuria, dressed in rainbow colors, had been walking around Olympic Park for nearly two hours, accompanied by a scrum of reporters. Most of the Russian spectators seemed clueless about the gay rights message and some approached her to take a picture, thinking she was a carnival character. Continue reading