These Countries That Condemned The Orlando Attack Are Terrible Towards LGBT People

Most of the statements of support ignored the fact that the attack even took place at a gay club.

Condolences have poured in from around the world since 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, including statements of support from governments from across the globe.

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But some of the expressions of sympathy have raised eyebrows, considering how the countries offering them treat their own LGBT people:

1. Egypt

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“Egypt stands next to the American people in these difficult times, offering sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” read a statement from Egypt's foreign ministry.

The last five years, though, have seen a spike in persecution of LGBT Egyptians, with several high-profile cases targeting gay men as criminals. Egyptian doctors also work with the police to administer highly intrusive anal exams that they believe can prove whether a subject is a "chronic homosexual." (They cannot.)

2. Russia

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke on the phone with Secretary of State John Kerry where he "expressed sincere condolences to the state secretary in the context of a bloody massacre in the US city of Orlando, which claimed lives of dozens of people."

But Russia's "anti-gay propaganda law," put into effect in 2013, has been a model for the region and other countries around the world. Under the law, homosexuality itself isn't criminalized but the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors is. That vague term has been used to justify a wide array of harassment of LGBT individuals and has led researchers to see a rise in violence against LGBT people.

And on Monday, two people holding a sign that reads "Love Wins" were reportedly detained outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

3. Iran

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Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Jaberi Ansari told reporters this on Monday: “Based on its principled policy of condemning terrorism and its firm resolve for serious and all-out confrontation of this discouraging phenomenon, the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns the recent terrorist attack in the US city of Orlando.”

In condemning terrorism, though, Ansari dodged the question of just where the terror was carried out. That's important as the Iranian government's tolerance for homosexuality is nearly non-existent. In 2011, three gay men in Iran were put to death "for acts against the sharia law and bad deeds."

4. Saudi Arabia

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"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms the attack on innocent people in Orlando, Florida, and sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the people of the United States," Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. al-Saud said in a statement.

In reality, homosexuality is completely banned in Saudi Arabia and sodomy is punishable by death. Though some find the ability to practice in private, as recently as this March a local newspaper reported that the death penalty was being considered for several cases in the city of Jeddah.

5. United Arab Emirates

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Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the United States, said in a statement: “We condemn the hate and fanaticism behind this unspeakable violence. We must all work together to promote tolerance and peace. ... On behalf of the leadership and people of the UAE, our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s heinous attack in Orlando."

In recent years, the UAE has developed a habit of arresting foreigners for a variety of offenses, convicting them of being gay, and deporting them after their prison sentence ended.



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.