Gay couple 'arrested for Orlando tribute' in Moscow


A gay Russian couple have apparently been arrested while trying to leave a tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting outside Moscow's US embassy.

Russian newspaper RBK's social media editor Islam Abdullabeckov and his boyfriend Felix Glyukman were  trying to leave flowers and a banner that read "Love wins - Stay with Orlando" outside the embassy when they were arrested.

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Glyukman told Buzzfeed News: "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.

"Right now we're just shocked. Soon we'll go to police station again and hope that this weird case won't make it to court."

A Russian police officer detains a gay rights activist
Glyukman (left) and Abdullabeckov (right) (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

The couple's lawyer said he hopes "this ugly situation won't end up in court".

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"The guys just wanted to show their solidarity with people of the United States. They brought candles, flowers and a piece of card with 'love wins' written on it with a simple ball pen," he said.

"Thing is, policemen there tried not to let people use any LGBT symbolics and when the guys came to the embassy and put down their banner, they were immediately arrested and brought to Presnenskiy police station."

The pair were reportedly initially arrested for holding a rally or demonstration, but the reason was later changed to "holding a public event without making prior notice".