Current Affairs

Police’s bad attitude towards Pride in Estonia

Natalie Relph July 12, 2007
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A year after violent homophobic attacks against Tallinn Pride, organisers prepare for its return amid problems with uncooperative police officials.

Last year LGBT marchers were attacked with sticks and stones by a group of young Estonian nationalists while celebrating the country’s gay third pride event.

The press service of the Estonian police told Interfax:

“Considering the problems of last year and possible threats involved in holding the event, the prefecture has advised that the organisers should find a place more suitable for it.

“Since the participants in the parade are many, holding it may disturb the constitutional rights of other citizens to walk the narrow streets of the city.”

Pride spokeswomen Lisette Kampus responded that freedom of assembly is a constitutional right.

Event organisers will be on alert to ensure that paraders will not disturb public order in the old town, which is the most suitable place as it is traffic free.

Ms Kampus said:

“We can not, should not and will not take responsibility for the actions of the people other than the participants.

“If this year someone from the audience on the streets decides to throw stones, eggs, or hit someone in the parade, they are committing a crime and are therefore subject to a punishment.

The police have an obligation to protect the public order and safety of the citizens.”

The parade, the grand finale of the week-long gay culture festival, is to be held on August 11th, under the Council of Europe slogan of ALL DIFFERENT, ALL EQUAL.

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