July 5, 2013

Video from the attack on the LGBTI Support Centre [2 March 2013]

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia salutes today’s verdict 20K-966/13 of the First Instance Court Skopje 1 – Skopje, regarding the members of the group which during the March 2nd protests, who committed the following crime “Participation in a crowd that will commit a crime”, by which they have been declared guilty. The persons, convicted to prison and conditional sentences, among other things, also attacked the branch office of the Helsinki Committee – LGBTI Support Centre, during which material damage was caused. We particularly welcome the court’s decision to accept our proposal (as a damaged party in this procedure) that during the determination of the sentences, the fact that the Centre was attacked due to its primary function – support of the LGBTI community and fighting against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, is considered as an aggravating circumstance.

Unfortunately, after the protests on the 2nd of March 2013, the LGBTI Support Centre was attacked two more times, the first being on June 22nd 2013, when the Centre hosted around 40 guests for one of the Pride Week events, and today in the early morning hours when someone tried to set the Centre on fire, attempting the act on the roof of the building. The Helsinki Committee is in possession of recordings of this event as well.