European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

ILGA-Europe targets European mayors and celebrities to support freedom of assembly for LGBT people

Today ILGA-Europe launches a campaign on freedom of assembly and expression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Europe.

The centrepiece of this campaign is an appeal which ILGA-Europe is sending to mayors of European cities asking them to sign and therefore demonstrate their support of the right to freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people. The appeal is also open for signing by cultural, sporting and political celebrities in Europe. While the collection of signatures will continue until September 2007, the first signatories will be announced on 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia. On the same day, the appeal with first signatures will be sent to the mayors of those European cities where LGBT Pride marches and other public events were banned, restricted or faced violence.

During the last couple of years city authorities in various European cities banned or significantly restricted LGBT Pride marches and other public event. In some cities LGBT people, when exercising their constitutional right of peaceful assembly, faced violence and on some occasions police authorities provided little or no protection.

Such gross violations of fundamental right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression by LGBT people were condemned by various international and European intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. On 28 March 2007 the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on this subject calling on the local authorities to respect and guard the right of LGBT people to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We have been witnessing unacceptable and illegal actions by some city authorities in Europe for the last few years. Despite the calls by various European organisations and institutions, international and national human rights defenders’ organisations, some city authorities are still prepared to break the law and ban Pride events.

With this campaign we want to raise the profile of the issue and mobilise European mayors to state their firm disapproval of such cases when the very fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly is denied to LGBT people. We hope that European mayors and celebrities will sign our appeal and the year 2007, which is the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, will be the start of a turning point in Europe and we will not experience any more violations of LGBT people’s right to peaceful assembly.”

Ends

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) Campaign details are available on our website: www.ilga-europe.org/europe/campaigns_projects/freedom_of_assembly_and_ex...