22 May 2008
Riga Pride needs protection

To read more about Riga Pride 2008, please see:
http://blog.amnesty.org/prideblog/

A Latvian organization for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, called Mozaika, is planning to hold a Gay Pride event in the centre of Latvia’s capital, Riga on 31 May.

When similar events were organized in 2005 and 2006, they were either banned or inadequately protected against attacks from homophobic counter-protestors.

In 2007, a Gay Pride march celebrating the rights of LGBT people was held inside a park in Riga. It received adequate police protection, but was marred by large numbers of counter-demonstrators chanting homophobic abuse outside the park. Two homemade explosive devices were thrown into the park, where they exploded.

This year, Mozaika is again facing problems trying to organise the march. They have faced difficulties in obtaining a permit for holding a Gay Pride from Riga City Council. However, a permit has now been given to hold a Gay Pride on a major street in Riga on 31 May.

Take Action However, the Pride march is likely to be targeted by counter-demonstrators and the Pride marchers will need to be adequately protected by law enforcement officials.

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