New LGBTI Support Centre in Skopje Attacked

Submitted by Voislav Stojanovski / Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia

New LGBTI Support Centre in Skopje Attacked

25. October 2012 - 12:49 — Dejan Georgievski
The Centre for Support of the LGBTI Population, opened one-day earlier by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rightsin Macedonia in Skopje’s Old Bazaar, was found stoned and its windows broken yesterday morning, October 24, 2012. The Kanal 5 TV reported that three masked persons attacked the Centre under the cover of the night.
The "Singing Skopjani" Choir performed at the opening of the Centre (Photo: Helsinki Committee)
Uranija Pirovska from the Helsinki Committee said to the media that the organization will not give up its plans to use the Centre to provide assistance to homosexual and trans-gender persons, in spite of the attack and previous threats received in the days before the opening of the Centre.

„The attack on the facility is a form of pressure which we expected, having in mind that the citiyens and the local community don't know what is really going on. I repeat that the whole idea is based on equalitz and freedom, but we obviously have to overcome the early problems and to prove this is a human idea“, Pirovska told the press.

The Centre was officially opened last Tuesday, October 23, in the presence of Marriet Schuurman, the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Skopje.

“This project is of crucial importance for the LGBTI persons in Macedonia. I have spent several years working on the project and I finally see it materialized. The latest events involving institutional homophobia, followed by homophobic reporting in some media, only emphasized the need for such a Centre. The hatred incited artificially by some persons and entities cannot be sustained over the long run. For that reason, I am convinced this Centre will prove successful in its aim to ensure the equality of all people living here”, Kočo Andonovski, Programming Director of the Centre said at the opening.

The main goal of the Centre is to represent the LGBTI community. It will also work to organize self-help groups, and will offer support and assistance to other formal and informal groups and associations working in the area of human rights. (Source: daily)

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