MEPs condemn homophobic violence in Skopje

On Saturday, Skopje’s LGBT Centre was attacked as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were watching a movie inside for the annual Pride celebrations.

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© Skopje LGBT Centre
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The LGBT centre in the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had already been attacked earlier this year, but without anyone inside.

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The Pride march planned for Saturday also had to be cancelled because the Ministry of Interior could not guaranteed marchers’ security.

No politicians have condemned the attack so far. Despite the aggression of a policeman during the attack, the Ministry of Interior hasn’t reacted officially either.

These events follow an aggressive and humiliating campaign against LGBT people in Macedonia’s media.

MEPs reacted angrily that attacks were continuing. Richard Howitt MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur and Member of the LGBT Intergroup, said: “This targeted attack against the LGBT community in Skopje must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all.”

“I pay credit to the organisers of Skopje’s Pride Week, who I’m sure will stand strong against this intimidation. I say again today that LGBT rights are human rights, and must be respected.”

Marije Cornelissen MEP, Member of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “This incident shows again that homophobia is still deep-seated in Macedonia. I am especially disappointed in the government for not immediately condemning the violence. They need to show univocal support and take strong action for LGBT rights, instead of only paying half-hearted lip-service when called upon.”

Last month the European Parliament adopted its annual report on Macedonia’s progress towards EU accession, and already highlighted unacceptable acts of violence.

Photo : © Skopje LGBT Centre

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