British police to monitor Riga Pride
Politicians from EU member states are attending Friendship Days this year to express their support for the LGBT community in Riga.
The Friendship Days will champion all human rights, but especially the right of assembly and free speech in the Latvian capital.
Detective Sergeant Sharon Stratton and Detective Constable Anthony Forsyth from London’s Metropolitan Police will be monitoring the Friendship Days events, along with representatives from the Swedish police and armed forces.
Over 100 delegates from Amnesty International will convene in Riga from various European countries.
An Equality March will be held on June 3, attended by the minister for migration affairs in the Swedish government, Tobias Billström.
He will be joined by six other members of the Swedish parliament.
The leader of the Swedish opposition, Mona Sahlin, has prepared a video greeting for participants in the Friendship Days.
The European Parliament will be represented by three MEPs, two from Sweden and one from Spain.
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Denmark will be represented by one MP, and Germany will be represented by member of Bundestag Volker Beck.
Riga Pride will begin this Thursday, after rumours that it would be banned.
Last year Pride was banned by the city authorities, and a small number of gay rights activists who defied that ban were attacked and missiles and human excrement were thrown at them.
Last week PinkNews reported how the Archbishop of Riga called on crowds of people to take to the streets of Riga to oppose Pride.
“If there are 1,000 sexually crazy people acting foolishly in the square of Pride, then the people’s march in Riga should have at least 40,000 or 50,000,” he wrote in an open letter to Cardinal Janis Pujats.
“That proportion would give the government and public enough reason to leave sexual perversion outside the law.”