Russian couple detained whilst laying flowers for Orlando victims
A gay couple were detained in Moscow after leaving flowers and a sign with “Love wins” written on it outside the US embassy.
The couple did not intend to make a political statement, but were detained by Moscow police for committing an ‘administrative offence’.
Felix Glyukman and Islam Abdullabeckov joined other people to commemorate the lives lost in the Orlando shootings. They were in shock and wanted to lay flowers and candles out of respect.
Glyukman told SBS: “There were many people and many flowers and candles. But the policeman grabbed the poster and told us we had to leave, but Islam said we didn’t want to and the officer grabbed him and put us in the car.”
Glyukman did not know why they were singled out by by the police.
“This is very strange, and very sad.”
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The arrest did not deter others from leaving tributes outside of the embassy, which is now scattered with floral tributes and loving messages to the people of Orlando.
Vladimir Putin denounced the attack as a “barbaric crime” in a condolence telegram sent to President Barack Obama.
He wrote that Russian people shared the grief and pain of those who lost their loved ones.
Russian law bans protests over gay rights, and LGBTQ people in the country suffer discrimination.
Homosexuality was a crime in Russia until 1993 and categorised as a mental illness until 1999.