Government Fails to Protect Gay, Lesbian People from Homophobic Violence – LGBT Intergroup
 Tear gas attack at IDAHO concert.  Montenegro Pride plans “suspended”

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Ulrike Lunacek MEP: “Today we saw first-hand the total lack of political will from national authorities to protect LGBT people and their supporters.

BRUSSELS, May 17, 2011    A music concert has been met by homophobic violence in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica.  During a performance by artist Lollobrigida on the occasion of the international Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, unknown groups threw teargas cans into the crowd, forcing half of the audience to disperse and seek medical assistance.

And in a related incident, two members of the public were reported to have been attacked in the centre of Podgorica and told to “not spread the disease [homosexuality] here”.

The Montenegrin government had earlier pledged to protect the LGBT Pride event planned for May 31.  But it has so far failed to earmark specific resources to protect the pride.

In light of these incidents, organisers of the Pride announced today they would suspend their plans for a public event on May. 31  They called on the government to provide effective plans to protect participants and onlookers during the pride march.

Speaking from Podgorica, Ulrike Lunacek MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: “Today we saw first-hand the total lack of political will from national authorities to protect LGBT people and their supporters.

“These incidents are set to increase unless the Montenegrin government send a strong signal.  And as Montenegro further progresses as a candidate to join the European Union, all its citizens must be protected and respected by authorities, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Also in Montenegro, Jelko Kacin MEP, vice-chair of the European Parliament Delegation to South-East Europe, added: “It is deeply regrettable that the first gay pride parade in the country should be cancelled, due to authorities’ failure to unequivocally support the parade. The government’s genuine solidarity and public support is essential; formal approval is not sufficient, as it wasn’t followed by any concrete action.

“Today, Montenegro failed to demonstrate that it wants to progress towards EU accession equally fast, in all areas. Respect, protection and promotion of minority rights are a quintessential part of our common European values.”

The LGBT Intergroup pledged it will continue to monitor the situation in Montenegro.








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Posted: 17 May 2011 at 19:00 (UK time)


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