This is slightly alarming.
I read a story in the Independent today about the so-called Pussey Riot group staging a public provocation in (it seems) Moscow. The activists were arrested for placing flags (according to the report) on government buildings apparently in support of gay rights. The tone of the report followed the usual hysterical and misleading style of reporting that the Independent’s and Guardian’s Moscow correspondents typically use. The report in the Independent described how the activists were “manhandled” by police and “frog-marched” away.
I wrote a comment in the newspaper comments section. The main point I made was that in the UK people can also be arrested for these kinds of public order offences. I mentioned the outcry that had accompanied the trial of David Gilmour’s son for violent disorder in connection with his jumping up and down on the Cenotaph in London in 2011; the trial covered several offences but it seemed to be the insult to the Cenotaph which most enraged people. And I mentioned that UK police officers often “manhandle” and “frogmarch” people when they arrest them. I concluded by saying that “Pussey Riot” represent a very minority opinion in Russia (which is true) and that I would guess that most Russians would be pleased to see them face court action for this provocation.
And would you guess it but the comment has been “removed for moderation”. Ok – it is only a comment on a newspaper article. Nonetheless it seems a sign of the times that a comment which argued that the article was biased against Russia and that arrests can happen for public order offences in the UK too was censored. Ie. the Russian point of view is blocked.