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Trans activist says she was detained at Olympics

BY NATALIYA VASILYEVA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SOCHI, Russia -- An Italian LGBT-rights activist said she was detained by police at the Olympics after being stopped while carrying a rainbow flag that read in Russian: "Gay is OK." Police on Monday denied this happened.

Vladimir Luxuria, a former Communist lawmaker in the Italian parliament who has become a prominent transgender rights crusader and television personality, told The Associated Press she was held for several hours before she was released. She said she was not charged.

Speaking from a Sochi hotel, she said she was detained on Sunday evening in a city park by two people she did not identify and who asked what she was wearing. Luxuria added she was kept at a police station for about two hours, most of the time waiting for an interpreter to arrive.

"The problem was not a rainbow flag, the problem was the writing," she said. "They asked me not to show things like that anymore."

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