By Tenzin Dharpo
Picon shows the Tibetan flag during the semi final game
DHARAMSHALA, July 16: A Frenchman was detained by the Russian police prior to the World cup final game between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for wearing a French football jersey with the name of Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the back. Hugues Picon was later released and has reached the French embassy in Moscow.
Picon posted this photo from Luzhniki stadium holding cell. Hugues Picon Facebook
Picon who spent several hours at the Luzhniki stadium jail posted a few updates through his phone during his detention. One of his posts on Facebook read, “Soon I (will) have no more battery. I do not know why they arrest me. They say because I am activist”.
Another read, “Disgusted I miss the game. Proud because it's for our cause”.
Picon who held a valid ticket missed the final game of the world cup 2018 in which his national team beat Croatia in a 4-2 thriller.
The Frenchmen also carried the Tibetan national flag in the Saint Petersburg stadium during the semi-final game between France and Belguim on July 10.
Picon’s act of solidarity with Tibet and the Dalai Lama has been appreciated by Tibetans around the world. A Tibetan netizen Diko Tso wrote, “Thank you very much Mr Hugues Picon for standing up for Human Rights & Democracy. I salute you from heart. We the need more like you.”
Another Tibetan Tibet Dasang wrote, “This is not China, this is Russia?”