■ BANNED - 1: Vilnius trolley buses with ad promoting sexual
orientation equality in the workplace. The ads were funded by the
European Union. The ban decreed by Mayor
LONDON, November 12, 2007 –
Amnesty International today called on its 2.2 million members worldwide to
address the rising tide of homophobia in Lithuania.
In recent months the gay community
in the Baltic state has seen marches repeatedly banned for spurious reasons,
a smoke-bomb attack on a gay-rights conference, and numerous homophobic
comments from leading politicians.
Earlier this year in May, Vilnius
Mayor Juozas Imbrasas banned a one-day visit of the official European Union
“Stop Discrimination” truck on its tour of 19 member-states as part of the
‘For Diversity: Against Discrimination’
The Mayor’s grounds for refusal were
security risks and that events around the truck might cause riots.
Just days before the ban on the EU
truck, the Mayor of Vilnius supported a refusal to display advertisements on
Vilnius’ trolleybuses promoting sexual orientation equality in employment
developed for an EU-funded project.
“We disapprove of the public display
of homosexualists’ (sic) ideas in the city of Vilnius,” the Mayor at the
Last month, the city banned a
“rainbow flag” event arranged by local gay groups to mark the International
Lesbian and Gay Association’s annual European conference in Vilnius. A
local court backed the City’s decision.
“To persecute people for their
sexual orientation is to violate their fundamental human rights,” Amnesty
International said in a statement today.
“Amnesty International calls on the
Lithuanian authorities to respect the right to peaceful freedom of assembly
for all, the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sexual
orientation and to actively promote respect for diversity in their country.
“The Lithuanian authorities also
need to offer adequate police protection to the country’s gay community,”
the statement pointed out.
Amnesty has asked its members to
write to the country’s Minister of the Interior, Raimondas Sukys, and Mayor
Imbrasas to voice their concerns and to remind them both that the rights to
freedom of assembly and association is a human right for all.
■ BANNED - 2: The official European
Union 'Stop Discrimination' Truck not allowed in Vilnius, said Mayor
Juozas Imbrasas. Truck is pictured outside the
European Parliament building in Strasbourg.
photo: European Union
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.
Posted: 12 November 2007 at
18:00 (UK time)