An Austrian MEP who was attacked with acid whilst making a speech at Vienna Pride last weekend, has responded to say the attack has made her more determined to end hate-mongering.
Ulrike Lunacek, who is the head of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament, was sprayed with acid while giving an interview at the Rainbow Parade on Friday.
She and her interviewer were sprayed with butyric acid, which can cause pain, blistering and skin burns, while exposure to the eyes may result in pain, severe deep burns and loss of vision.
It is considered a toxic and dangerous substance, and has also been used previously in attacks on abortion clinics.
Lunacek said: “I’m very calm about this direct personal attack. I trust the police will do their job, and bring the lone perpetrator to justice.”
“The stench stayed for hours, but thankfully no-one was hurt although our clothes and video materials were destroyed. I’m sad and irritated this took place in my hometown, but this will only make me stronger in my determination to end fear and hate-mongering in Europe.
The event was attended by 150,000 people.
LGBT Intergroup Vice-President Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP joined in condemnation, and said: “I am shocked and repulsed by this attack. I wish such attacks were a thing of the past, but instead they remind us that one in four LGBT people were attacked or threatened with homophobic violence in the year preceding the FRA LGBT Survey.”
“We must take this as a serious signal that homophobes are prepared to do anything, including up close, personal violence, to impose their views. Political and religious leaders have to show more responsibility, and speak out strongly against homophobic hatred and violence, rather than tacitly accept it or even fan it.”