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Amnesty details wave of homophobia in Eastern Europe

Shocking new briefing profiles verbal and physical attacks and the current state of legislation in 19 countries across Eastern Europe

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Amnesty International today released a comprehensive briefing on the horrific day-to-day reality faced by lesbians and gays in Eastern Europe.

The document profiles several brutal attacks against the gay community, inflammatory and homophobic comments made by a range of political and religious leaders, and the current state of legislation in 19 countries across Eastern Europe.

Last year two Pride events were attacked by petrol bombs, two mainstream newspapers – one in Bulgaria and one in Latvia – denounced homosexuality as a sin, and political leaders in Poland and Romania both tried to strengthen anti-gay laws in direct violation of their human rights commitments under European law.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“The International Day Against Homophobia should be a celebration of diversity across the globe, but our new briefing shows that there is still so much work to be done if homophobia is to be rightly consigned to the dustbin of history.

“Across Eastern Europe, political leaders are issuing homophobic comments, anti-gay groups are organising counter demonstrations against Pride events, and violent attacks are showing no sign of subsiding.

“The international community cannot afford to stand still. It is up to our leaders to put pressure on their European counterparts to ensure that they begin to honour the numerous anti-homophobic conventions and resolutions that they have signed up to.”

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