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Pride London today acted with disbelief and anger at an attempt by Lithuanian authorities to ban Baltic Pride from taking place.
The event, which will bring together pride celebrations in Lativa, Lithuania and Estonia, was due to take place from 05-08 May in the city of Vilnus. Raimondas Petrauskas, Lithuania’s Interim Attorney General and Stanislovas Buškevičius, member of the Kaunas City Council, have applied to the court to ban the March for Equality scheduled for 08 May. The march was approved earlier in the year by the Mayor of Vilnius.
Concerns over potential security risks are being cited as reason to ban the march from taking place.
The court will deliver a decision on whether to ban the March for Equality by noon on 05 May.
Pride London patron Michael Cashman commented:
"The Lithuanian authorities should be very careful in their consideration of the Public Prosecutor's request. They must remember the binding international treaties they signed, including the EU's Charter on Fundamental Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights.
As a result, they have the legal obligation to protect citizens' freedom of assembly—including marchers' safety—, whether they like it or not. The European Parliament will move swiftly and decisively if Lithuania bans a gay pride parade—and we will ensure the European Commission does too."
Colm Howard-Lloyd, Vice Chair, Communications added:
"We are angry that yet again an EU country is wasting time in court, and the resources of pride organizations, to ban pride events on spurious grounds. Pride London went to court alongside Mozaika Riga when there was an attempt to ban their event on similar, false grounds last year.
Europe should be proud that we now have an LGBT pride event in every single country. City authorities should celebrate that fact, and not allow themselves to get dragged into vexatious legal tussles!"
Source: Pride London Press Release
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