A gay Russian male couple paying tribute to the Orlando shooting victims were arrested in Russia on Sunday. Islam Abdullabeckov and his boyfriend Felix Glyukman were on their way to the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Sunday afternoon with a candle, some flowers, and a sign that read “Love Wins.” But the moment the young couple laid the sign down on the pavement outside the embassy, they were arrested by policemen under Russia’s draconian Homosexual Propaganda Law.
We wanted to put a poster down there, put down some flowers, and light a candle. Instead, we were taken to local police department and accused of unsanctioned picketing.”
The couple was to a police station and released after three hours of interrogation. If found guilty, they could each face up to 10 days in jail or a fine of $900.
Homosexuality itself is not illegal in Russia per se, but state sanctioned homophobia is rampant
A video showing the arrest of Felik and Islam was released by a Russian TV network. The video shows a police officer grabbing Islam by the arm and putting him into the police cruiser where Glyukman joins his partner. The couple has since made it clear that this arrest will not deter them from expressing their condolences to the dead. They have also expressed their shock over the fact that even in a country as liberal as the United States, such a homophobic act was committed. The couple’s lawyer says that he hopes the situation will not end up in court.