Danish photographer Mads Nissen has won this year’s World Press Photo of the Year. The photo shows Jon (21) and Alex (25), a gay couple, in an intimate moment. In the last years, the world has come face to face with the reality for LGBT people in Russia, who are hunted and persecuted daily.
Recently, a road safety decree sparked panic and outrage amongst the community, and the rest of the world, that Russia would not let transgender people drive. The decree lists transsexuality among the medical conditions that could prevent a person from driving. Authorities then decided that mental health or behavioural related issues were not something which could prevent someone from driving.
It is clear that LGBT people are still vulnerable under the homophobic Russian state, and there is need for awareness raising and for more organisations to work in defence of their rights. This photo will undoubtedly raise awareness about the issue, as well as giving honour a praise to people who are persecuted and violated.
Below, are other photos which won the prize in the previous years: