May 17, 2012

Attacks during IDAHO events


Attacks during IDAHO events in Tbilisi and St Petersburg

As LGBT communities around the world were celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on the 17th of May, the outbreaks of violence targeted towards peaceful demonstrations in Tbilisi and St Petersburg have left several LGBT rights activists injured.

On May 17th, Georgian LGBT organization “Identoba” organized a peaceful march, dedicated to IDAHO, it was the very first public LGBT event in the country. During the event allegedly the representatives of Georgian Orthodox Parents’ Union attacked the marchers. Later, police representatives showed up only to detain several “Identoba’s” staff members, who an hour later were released. One the the participants of the march due to extent of physical attack had to be seen by medical staff.

At this stage, the organization does not have any additional information about other persons who may have had injuries as a result of participation in the march.

For more information and photos please click here.

Several LGBT rights activists have suffered injuries after assault during and after demonstration in St.Petersburg yesterday. Around a hundred had gathered in a city center park to mark IDAHO. City authorities had sanctioned the demonstration, and a police unit shielded participants as they chanted slogans and gave out balloons to passers-by. A larger crowd of anti-gay protesters repeatedly shouted death threats, and attempted to break the cordon. At least two LGBT rights activists have been hospitalized with injuries. After teh event police escorted participants to buses.

“This incident is a confirmation that the anti-gay legislation is escalating violence” says a press release from LGBT organisation “Coming Out, which organized the demonstration.

For more information and photos please click here.

IGLYO (the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Youth and Student organisation) would like to express support and solidarity with LGBT rights activists in Georgia and Russia. We call the authorities of Tbilisi and St Petersburg to immediately launch investigation on the attacks. A right to assembly and expression is a fundamental human right and should be exercised by each individual without fear of assault. City authorities, law enforcement agencies and governments have an obligation to ensure the safety of peaceful gatherings and protect its participants from unprovoked violence.

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