Media Release: Supporting right to free and peaceful assembly in Hungary, supporting Budapest Pride!
This week the 14th LGBT Pride Festival is taking place in Budapest. One of its main events is a Pride March on Saturday, 5 September. Considering the unfortunate experience of a few previous Pride Marches in Budapest which witnessed increasing violence, ILGA-Europe fully supports the right of LGBT people in Hungary to free and peaceful assembly. ILGA-Europe condemns any attempts to limit this right by individual Hungarian politicians.
As a sign of our concern with the situation in Hungary and our support, ILGA-Europe is sending two representatives to take part in the Pride March: Paata Sabelashvili, member of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, and Juris Lavrikovs, ILGA-Europe’s Communications Manager, will be in Budapest to take part in the March and to address its participants.
Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:
“ILGA-Europe is seriously concerned with the situation in Hungary. For many years LGBT people in Hungary enjoyed peaceful and celebratory Pride Marches. However during the last couple of years the situation changed and there is worrying increase of racist and homophobic sentiments. This year some Hungarian politicians even called for a ban on LGBT Pride March. We welcome the statement by the Hungarian Police Forces that they will do their job to ensure that participants of Budapest Pride March can peacefully and freely exercise their right and to ensure their safety.”
Linda Freimane, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, added:
“In 2007, ILGA-Europe’s board, staff and members were meeting in Budapest and took part in the Pride March which became violent for the first time in 10 years of Pride organising. We all experienced first hand intimidation and explosives being thrown in our direction. Therefore Budapest Pride has a special meaning for the organisation and we express all our full support to Hungarian LGBT activists and all people taking part in the March this Saturday. We hope that the ugly scenes of violence and threats of 2007 and 2008 will not be repeated this year.”