IOC Defends Arrests and Beating of LGBT Activists


The International Committee appears to be absolutely fine with the detention and beating of LGBT activists that occurred yesterday as the Games opened, Buzzfeed reports:

“We understand that the protesters were quickly released,” Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, said in an email to BuzzFeed. “As in many countries in the world, in Russia, you need permission before staging a protest. We understand this was the reason that they were temporarily detained.”

4 arrests in St. Petersburg and 10 arrests in Moscow were among more than 60 reported arrests across Russia, according to the NYT. Those detained in Moscow were reportedly beaten.

Watch Rachel Maddow's report on the arrests here.


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  1. The IOC is an immoral and corrupt organization whose monopoly needs to be closely examined.

    Posted by: freak | Feb 8, 2014 4:37:04 PM

  2. Wow.

    "We understand that the protesters were quickly released"

    Do they also understand that they were beaten and spat upon and sexually harassed by the police?

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 8, 2014 4:54:14 PM

  3. The Olympics used to fill me with wonder and joy... but now I can't even get myself to think of them, much less watch them, without feeling such anger and disgust at what is happening in Russia right now and the IOC's inability to grow a backbone. They are participating in this hatred and it sickens me.

    Posted by: Marc | Feb 8, 2014 4:54:36 PM

  4. We will not forget a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g; well I for one definitely won't. And the internet certainly won't either...

    Posted by: GrumpyAcid | Feb 8, 2014 4:56:47 PM

  5. "We understand some people were put in gas showers. Hitler does what Hitler does"

    Posted by: Moz's | Feb 8, 2014 5:09:12 PM

  6. Were they temporarily detained or were they detained and beaten?

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 8, 2014 5:31:54 PM

  7. We need an entirely new entity managing the Olympics. Sadly though, I don't see any way of wrestling the Olympics from, well... the Olympics. It's a shame, it's supposed to be all about the brotherhood of nations, but it's clearly only about making money for a cabal of highly unscrupulous investors.

    Posted by: fedorajoe | Feb 8, 2014 5:40:13 PM

  8. @Andrew temporarily detained and beaten

    Posted by: litper | Feb 8, 2014 5:55:50 PM

  9. Someone should point out to the IOC that the Russians haven't applied the same standard to the homophobic protesters at the olympics. They haven't been arrested or harassed. Selective enforcement does not indicate equal treatment in any way.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 8, 2014 5:56:11 PM

  10. And Jesus was temporarily nailed on the cross.

    Posted by: trees | Feb 8, 2014 5:56:22 PM

  11. @Charlie. Exactly, I bet "Homo Sex Is A Sin" poster guy had no problems with his protests.

    Posted by: bollox | Feb 8, 2014 6:09:31 PM

  12. oh, for heaven's sake.
    what a chicken-sh*t reason they gave.
    screw the olympics
    screw putin
    i'm not even watching it.

    Posted by: woody | Feb 8, 2014 6:15:17 PM

  13. The IOC (and the USOC as well) is a venal and corrupt organization.

    Posted by: Perry | Feb 8, 2014 6:20:13 PM

  14. The homo sex is sin guy was taken by the police, but told nicely that he could continue to pass out his pro-Putin and anti-gay and anti-abortion literature IN SOCHI!!! as long as he didn't have the sign.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 8, 2014 6:30:51 PM

  15. I am not watching one minute of these Olympics. Not one.

    Posted by: kit | Feb 8, 2014 6:53:59 PM

  16. @KIT: That is certainly your choice, but I don't know what it accomplishes, other than you're missing a lot of great athletic performances.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 8, 2014 7:26:19 PM

  17. He knows fully well that they wouldn't be given permission for their protests in the first place.

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Feb 8, 2014 7:49:38 PM

  18. IOC is a disgraceful organization.

    Posted by: TheSeer | Feb 8, 2014 8:13:42 PM

  19. Not watching the Olympics will create some adverse affects for investors. Networks that depend upon advertising will lose backing, and if they lose backing, they lose money, which translates to less incentive for broadcast, which in turn makes the Olympics a far less lucrative monopoly.

    I will not watch one minute, either. Yes, I'm saddened that I cannot cheer on the amazing and talented athletes of our world, but I wouldn't see their efforts and dramatic triumphs if I watched anyway; my mind would constantly advance the images of suffering dogs, homeless families, and nocuous void of human rights. Even if I wanted to support the athletes by tuning in, my heart would tune out as it may tap in to the unforgivable circumstances surrounding these games.

    Posted by: Sarah L | Feb 8, 2014 8:24:57 PM

  20. I have had enough of this sh*t!

    Gay people - and others who believe in human rights for all - have got to stop watching the Olympics sue to this complete unwillingness to condemn Russia for fear of being sued, or otherwise losing money.

    We also have to stop buying from the global sponsors who have also - all! - failed to condemn the Russian law. they will all come out swinging against in after the games, but that will be far-too-little and much-to-late.

    Boycott Sochi! Boycott IOC! Boycott McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Visa, etc! (And write the sponsors to let them know why you are never going to buy from them again!)

    Posted by: John | Feb 8, 2014 9:36:04 PM

  21. Sarah L, tourist activism. Your not watching the Olympics doesn't even register on the map. Sochi should have never been awarded the 2014 Winter Games, but heavy lobbying by Putin, BEFORE the laws were passed, swayed the IOC.

    If you really want to have an impact, write to and lobby USOC members, NGB members, and AAC members about the issues.

    Aside from a badly managed LOC in Rio, I don't see any countries with human rights issues in the running for Games in the future. Moscow has pulled out of bidding for the 2024 Games, which means it will be at least two decades before they might be considered again.

    My bet is the extent of your protest will be sitting on your couch NOT watching the Olympics and the hard work of athletes from open and accepting countries. BTW, I bet you can't even name the seven out athletes at the Games.

    As I said, tourist activist.

    Posted by: RBearSAT | Feb 8, 2014 9:41:27 PM

  22. So John, what's your next barricade? The IOC had nothing to do with Russia's laws, which were passed several years after the IOC awarded the bid. In fact, the national law was passed in 2013, far too late for the IOC to move the Games. But that escapes you and other tourist activists.

    Let me give you a hint on the next barricade, which you probably don't even know about. In 2018, Russia will host the World Cup. I'm sure Sochi has helped raise awareness, but if it hadn't, you and others like you probably wouldn't have even dumped a vodka bottle until 2017 at the earliest.

    Most everyone in here has no clue about how international sporting events are managed and awarded. But you can sure throw a big hissy fit about them and claim how much economic impact you have by watching Dancing With the Stars instead.

    Posted by: RBearSAT | Feb 8, 2014 10:15:25 PM

  23. @RBearSat: Sadly, your words won't register with the boycott crowd. I've been pointing out for weeks that Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald's didn't choose Sochi nor did they help draft the anti-gay laws in Russia.

    I've also tried to explain that becoming a sponsor means signing a contract. None of sponsors could back out of the Olympics without massive monetary losses. As public for-profit companies, that simply isn't an option.

    The pro-boycott folks fail to acknowledge the reality of sponsorship agreements. That means they probably will ignore the fact you provided: that the anti-gay laws were passed years after the IOC awarded the games to Sochi.

    Posted by: alex | Feb 8, 2014 11:05:32 PM

  24. Thanks Alex. I follow the Games pretty closely and have been watching those cities who are bidding or might bid for future Games. Those are the ones to watch and target, should any have civil rights issues. Looking ahead, the path looks clear, provided the IOC acts rationally.

    Of the 2022 cities, Beijing is more insane than Sochi, Lviv has too much conflict, Almaty doesn't have the finances to meet the needs. That leaves Krakow, Olso, and Stockholm. 2024 is too far out to call now, but the US is expected to bid for it.

    Good points on the contracts. I've seen one person in another forum make the statement companies would lose BILLIONS from the impact. Really? Do these people know how to read a financial statement?

    BTW, the IOC actually does adhere to Principle 6. I don't think I've ever seen an athlete, coach, official or spectator turned away because of their sexual orientation. Principle 6 is focused on the Games and competition, not a country, as a whole.

    Regardless, Russia poured so much money into getting Sochi ready I think they're more worried about the economic loss to the country than anything. That's probably why they cancelled plans to bid on 2024.

    Posted by: RBearSAT | Feb 9, 2014 12:16:56 AM

  25. Please consider sending/posting a message of support for those in SOCHI 2014.
    Please click on the link below or paste the URL into your browser to view the ART postcard.

    Posted by: Stephen Mead | Feb 9, 2014 9:48:01 AM

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