Human rights and LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell has been released following his arrest during a peaceful protest close to the Kremlin.
Mr Tatchell received consular assistance during his detention.
Speaking from Moscow, Mr Tatchell said:
“I am required to appear in court on 26 June for violating Federal Law 54 and Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin and during the World Cup. I have written a letter to the Chief of Police of Kitay-Gorod police district, requesting that my court appearance is voided on the grounds that I am flying back to the UK on 18 June. I have been told I will be free to leave Russia on that date as planned. I spent one hour and 40 minutes in police custody, from the moment I was detained near the Kremlin to the moment of my release from the police station. Senior officers were stern but the apprehending officer very helpful, friendly and polite. I presume I was well treated, partly because I am a UK citizen and because a senior British Embassy consular official, Colin Wells, contacted the police. I guess the Russians also did not want to be seen as being heavy-handed during the World Cup.