Home Page
 
News 28 Mar 12

Albania Minister's Anti-Gay Rant Condemned

The EU and Human Rights Watch have panned the deputy defence minister for saying that activists planning Albania's first Gay Pride deserve a beating.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

“The European Union strongly condemns any discriminatory rhetoric as well as any incitement to hatred or violence,” the EU delegation in Albania said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Public statements like Mr Spahiu's are in contradiction with the implementation of anti-discrimination policies under chapter 23 on judiciary and fundamental rights of the EU acquis communautaire,” the statement added.

Gay rights activists have announced that they will hold a rally in Tirana on May 17 to defend the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

But the planned march, the country’s first Gay Pride parade, has already provoked the ire of conservatives and religious communities.

Ekrem Spahiu, who heads a small royalist party called Legality, called for the activists to be beaten.

“What remains to be done is to beat them up with a stick. If you don’t understand this, I can explain it: to beat them with a rubber stick,” Spahiu told the daily Gazeta Shqiptare.

Human Rights Watch on Monday called on the Albanian government to publicly reprimand Spahiu.

“I am shocked that a high ranking government official is calling for violence against peaceful LGBT demonstrators,” said Boris Dittrich, advocacy director in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.

“Government officials should be supporting plans to hold a Gay Pride parade, not making threats against the participants.”

The Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has since called the remarks "unacceptable".

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

romanians-march-in-support-of-civil-partnership-10-20-2017
21 Oct 17

Romanians March in Support of Civil Partnership

Dozens of Romanians demonstrated on Saturday in Bucharest to demand that the government legalize civil partnership, which might benefit as many as 800,000 people, organizers say.

20 Oct 17

Winds of Change

20 Oct 17

‘Political War’ in Moldova Threatens Army

20 Oct 17

Kosovo Readies for Sunday's Local Elections

20 Oct 17

Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art to Reopen

Premium Selection

political-war-in-moldova-threatens-army-10-20-2017
20 Oct 17

‘Political War’ in Moldova Threatens Army

Moldova's military forces could be the next collateral damage from the country’s growing internal political crisis, experts warn.

louder-than-guns-croatia-s-wartime-patriotic-singers-10-18-2017
20 Oct 17

‘Louder than Guns’: Croatia’s Patriotic Wartime Singers

A new documentary about huge number of Croatian patriotic songs recorded during the 1990s conflict shows how musicians volunteered their talents to support the ‘Homeland War’ for independence.

19 Oct 17

EU Mulls Lower Roaming Charges for Balkans

17 Oct 17

Referendum Pledge Haunts Bosnian Serb Supremo