London: Peter Tatchell arrested after limo protest at Westminster
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been arrested for staging a protest in front of the Indonesian president’s limousine, as it departed Westminster Abbey, earlier on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Tatchell says he was wrestled to the ground by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s bodyguards and then arrested by Metropolitan Police officers.
It was after he unfurled a West Papuan flag.
He claims it was a lawful protest, which involved “nothing more sinister than holding a flag”.
The 60-year-old claims the president and former army general is guilty of war crimes in East Timor and West Papua and had been planning to perform a citizen’s arrest on him, during his state visit to the UK.
Mr Tatchell has also criticised the decision of police officers to arrest him, saying:
“I was detained unlawfully and deprived of my liberty for two hours. After being taken to Charing Cross Police Station, I was eventually released without charge. Clearly, the police knew they had over-stepped the mark and that the charges against me were baseless”.
Earlier this month, Mr Tatchell, who is one of the UK’s most famous LGBT campaigners, called for the prosecution of BNP leader Nick Griffin, after the MEP urged for a protest to be held outside the home of gay couple in response to their legal victory in an anti-discrimination lawsuit.