Since the start of the Olympic Games in Sochi yesterday, at least 14 people have been arrested across Russia for staging — or attempting to stage, or perhaps even thinking about staging — protests of Russia's anti-gay laws.

Today, Emmanuelle Moreau, the head of media relations for the International Olympic Committee, told BuzzFeed that it has no problem with the actions of Russian police, saying, "As in many countries in the world, in Russia, you need permission before staging a protest. We understand this was the reason that they were temporarily detained."

Moreau also said "we understand that the protesters were quickly released," though several of those arrested have alleged that they were beaten by Russian cops while in custody. According to the Russian nationals detained in Moscow after demonstrating in the city's Red Square, they were kicked, choked and threatened with sexual violence. Some of them of also theorized if they were being monitored by Russian police, who arrested a number of people before they had even actually begun protesting.

The IOC, perhaps, is betting that stories like this will be swept away by the pomp and pageantry of the games, though its support of Russia's police force isn't surprising considering that it, you know, awarded the games to Russia in the first place.

[photo via AP]