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Image Of Russian Gay Couple Wins World Press Photo Award

An intimate image of a gay couple in Russia by a Danish photographer has won the prestigious World Press Photo award.

The image by Mads Nissen of Jon, 21, and Alex, 25, locked in an embrace in a dark, bare room with a curtain as a backdrop was crowned on February 12 as the World Press Photo of the Year 2014.

One of the men lies on his back on a bed with his eyes closed, while the other looks at him, their hands locked.

Nissen said he sees the photo, shot in St. Petersburg, as "a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story" about two people in love but facing outside forces who want to deny them their feelings.

The image is part of a larger project by Nissen called "Homophobia in Russia" that highlights how life is difficult for sexual minorities in Russia.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP