Vladimir Luxuria, who was a Communist Refoundation Party member of the Italian parliament, was arrested shortly after posting a photograph on Twitter, showing herself at the Olympic site with a rainbow umbrella and fan.
“In your face Putin!” she wrote, a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s controversial law which criminalizes “promoting homosexuality”.
Sono a Sochi! Saluti con i colori della rainbow, alla faccia di Putin! pic.twitter.com/E68Lgtadgv
— vladimir luxuria (@vladiluxuria) February 16, 2014
Luxuria was also carrying a flag with “gay is OK” written on it in Russian, which provoked her arrest, a spokesman for the Italian foreign ministry told The Local.
She was released overnight after consular staff intervened and is expected to now return to Italy, the spokesman said.
Luxuria, who lives exclusively as a woman but has not undergone a sex change, was the first openly transgender member of the European Parliament.