Tuesday, 6 May 2008

South Caucasus LGBT will participate in the first "legal" gay Pride in Moldova

Being deprived of possibilities (for now) to hold similar events at home, LGBT representatives from all three South Caucasus countries - Armenia, Azebaijan and Georgia, will participate in what organisers call the "first time in Moldovan history LGBT community will have legal public manifestation".

GenderDoc-M, Moldova's LGBT NGO reports:

Sunday, 11 May 2008 within VII LGBT Pride in Moldova  "Rainbow over the Dniester" LGBT community will go on pubic manifestation on the the central square of Chisinau. The aim of the action is to support adoption of anti-discrimination law in Moldova.

During three previous consecutive years public authorities was banning public manifestations on various pretexts. This year after we applied to the City Hall to inform the authorities about planned public manifestation within the Pride we got the information, which gave us hope. The representative of the City Hall informed us that now according to the new law “About public manifestations” we have right to organize public manifestation in the format we indicated and for this we do not need permission of the authorities. As we were informed for holding this manifestation this year we only need to have with us the document saying that our application is registered at the City Hall. A couple of days in advance we have to call City Hall to confirm our event and to check if it does not coincide with any other events.

The public manifestation will be held under the slogan “All different – all equal” and it coincides with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of GenderDoc-M work in Moldova. The manifestation will take place on Sunday, 11 May from 11 till 12 a.m. The route of the manifestation is planned to start at the National Library and head to the Central Square of the City. We do hope that this year LGBT community will be able to benefit from the new law and nobody will ban it as previous years.

The other events of this year Pride will start on 8 May with laying flower to the monument of the victims of repressions and will be closed on Sunday, 11 May with excursion to Moldovan historical places. Other important events are official Pride opening ceremony, where symbolical marriage ceremony and concert of Moldovan pop stars and pride closing ceremony with international contest «Miss Flawless Queen-2008». [...]

On 9 May will take place “Day against homophobia and xenophobia”. This day in the club «Star Track» for the first time will be showed documentary «SILENTIO» about LGBT discrimination in Moldova, and “Here’s looking at you, boy!” telling how gay movie started. Here also Art Evening with participation of Russian poetess Marina Chen will take place. At the end of the day the artificial cranes made by volunteers of the women’s program will fly to heaven. [...]

At the international conference “10 years of struggle: experience, lesions learned and future perspectives for LGBT Movement in CIS countries” results achieved by GenderDoc-M during the first 10 years of work will be summarized. The discussion on consolidation of LGBT movement in CIS countries [post-Soviet states] will take place within the conference.

One of the important events will be Safer Sexual Behavior Promotion Party, which will take place at disco club “Cazanova”. Sexual education is one of the priorities of the work of our organization.

Prides in Moldova – are cultural festivals of LGBT community. The aim of these events is to inform society about diversity and to increase visibility of LGBT community in our society. Prides get together big number of people not only form the LGBT community but also people who support LGBT movement (parents, friends etc) from Moldova and abroad. This year we have guests from Sweden, Canada, Russia, Romania, Belgium, Israel, Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

*photo - via GenderDoc-M; /emphasis mine/


Anonymous said...

eek, translation crimes!!!

It's good news though, at least! :)

artmika said...

Yeah, English versions in non-English speaking national LGBT websites are far from perfect and at times weird :), but hey, what I care most is GOOD NEWS, and well done Moldovan LGBT movement!

artmika said...

Now it's time for BAD NEWS. According to reports from Moldova, mayor of capital Chisinau "banned" Gay Pride, although many intend to defy the ban and march nevertheless. The reason cited for banning the march is "violation of spiritual and moral values" put forward by religious and other groups.

ILGE Europe reports:



08 MAY 2008

We, participants of the 7th Moldovan LGBT pride “Rainbow over the Dniester” protest over the decision of the Chisinau city hall to ban the peaceful public manifestation in support of tolerance an non-discrimination in Moldovan society, organized by NGO “GenderDoc-M”. The manifestation was planned for 11th of May 2008 at 11:00 am, and we have decided to proceed with our plans despite the city hall ban. The latter is unlawful, as according to Moldovan laws only the court can prohibit a march, and not a local authority. Moreover, in 2007 the Supreme Court has found a similar decision of the city hall as violating Constitution and the European Convention for Human Rights. It is already sixth time that a peaceful LGBT demonstration is banned in Moldova, despite pressure and criticism of the Council of Europe, European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

From the police, city hall and mass-media we have learned that a number of groups is planning violent attacks on pride participants. We believe that the unlawful decision of the city hall was designed to shift the responsibility for any victims of this violence from local authorities and the police to pride organizers. The actions of the Chisinau city hall and the police are in violation of the European Convention for Human Rights and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, to which Moldovan is a signatory, as well as other international human rights obligations of the Moldovan state. It is also against the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which Moldova has aspirations to join.

We believe that human rights belong to all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone has the right to expression in a public space. We therefore call on Chisinau mayor to withdraw the ban, and on Moldovan law-enforcement authorities to provide adequate protection to pride participants.




NR. 321-D FROM 08.05.2008

“With regards to prohibiting organization of a public manifestation in the city of Chisinau”

Based on examination of an advance declaration nr. 162 from 18.04.2008 of the Information Center GenderDoc-M, taking into consideration information from the office of the general police commissioner of the city of Chisinau nr. 2548 from 08.05.2008 about disagreement of religious organizations with regards to allowing the respective manifestation, as well as letters from school students, dwellers of the city of Chisinau, opinions of public associations and of the citizens, which have appeared on the internet, in mass media, on the radio and on television, which accuse sexual minorities of aggressiveness and violation of spiritual and moral values, in order to avoid any tensions in society, on the basis of articles 5 (1), art. 6, art. 8 (b), art. 10 (3), art. 16 (1-4), art. 18 (1,2) and art. 19 from the Law of the Republic of Moldova nr. 26 – XIV on public manifestations, and … the law on local public administration, the Chisinau mayor decides:

- To prohibit organization of a meeting in form of a public action, solicited by the Information Centre “GenderDoc-M” on 11 May 2008.

- Social-humanitarian and interethnic department (Mrs. Stratulat) to ensure control over execution of this disposition.

General Mayor of Chisinau

Dorin Chirtoaca


According to the new Moldovan law on public manifestations, local authorities have no right to prohibit a public manifestation. In case they have serious proof that the law will be broken during a public manifestation, they can take organisers of a public manifestation to court, and ONLY the latter can decide to prohibit the manifestation. Therefore this decision has no legal value.

The reasons for prohibition are also clearly limited by the law, and do not include any reasons given by the city hall in the letter above, except for violation of public morality. However, as Moldovan courts have already previously established, GenderDoc-M manifestations are not violating public morality.

artmika said...

Moldovan Police allows for violent preclusion of a public LGBT manifestation


11 May 2008

Today participants in the 7th Moldovan Pride were precluded from marching peacefully in support of anti discrimination legislation and tolerance in the centre of Chisinau. Police did not guarantee the right to freedom of assembly. Large aggressive coordinated groups, including extremist religious groups, members of the neo-fascist movement “New Right”, and legionnaires blocked the bus with participants, forced the door, violently hit the windows, and attempted to remove the engine, while shouting “lets get them out and beat them up”.

The police distanced itself from the events by taking the role of passive observers. GenderDoc-M has informed local authorities and the ministry of internal affairs as early as 21st of April about the route of the march, and asked for protection. The law on freedom of assembly of Moldova guarantees peaceful assembly to everyone, and puts an obligation on the police to guarantee the exercise of the right and the safety of participants. The police did not facilitate the exit of pride participants from the bus into the street, did not side out the rival aggressive groups from intervention, and through their passivity encouraged escalation of violence and the built up of the
all-permissive hostile atmosphere. Independent human rights observers witnessed hatred shouts, such as “Beat them to death”, “Don’t let them escape”. No medical emergency was foreseen.

About 60 people were blocked in the bus for over 45 minutes. Two unidentified well-built men wearing the signs of the rival groups, forced the doors from both sides of the bus and demanded ceasing of all march materials (banners asking for anti-discrimination law and tolerance, European Union and Moldovan flags and rainbow balloons) as condition for lifting the blockage of the bus. According to the estimates of independent observers from 200 to 400 people had surrounded the bus. The core of the crowd were teenagers, some dressed military-style, some wearing black masks and others skinhead-like wearing A4 posters with derogatory messages and signs. The outer ring of the crowd was mostly middle-aged men wearing black clothes encouraging the former. No police was identified by the observes on the place. Some 6 traffic police cars stood approximately 100 meters away without taking any action whatsoever. GenderDoc-M has made 9 unsuccessful attempts to call the police. After ceasing of all materials, the two men ordered to unblock the bus and let it go. The bus headed towards GenderDoc-M office, followed by a car with members of the crowd. Participants left the office in dispersed groups on alert of possible repeated attack by the crowd.

Another crowd of approximately several hundred people surrounded GenderDoc-M office demanding that pride participants exit the office. Two police and one ambulance cars observed from distance the events. The office remained blocked for several hours.

In parallel to the events described above, several hundred people of all ages, men and women gathered on the Great National Assembly Square, carrying banners saying “Family is the Union between Man and Woman”, “Homosexuality is a Sin”, “Immorality Ruins Society”, “Moldova – Christian Country”, and “Do Not Turn Sin into Virtue”. GenderDoc-M has no information whether these various groups had their manifestations authorised.

All remaining activities, including a small meeting, sightseeing in Chisinau and visit of historic places in Moldova were cancelled due to lack of security.

The new Moldovan Law on Assembly requires a simple notification of local authorities about a meeting. GenderDoc-M submitted to the City Hall on 21 April 2008 such a notification, respecting all legal requirements. On the eve of the march, the Mayor of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaca issued a disposition informing the organizers that the march is banned by the City Hall. Such a disposition breaches the law, since only the court could ban a manifistation. Since the new Mayor, exponent of the Liberal Party and former staff of a human rights NGO in Moldova, took office, GenderDoc-M remains the only organisation whose public manifestations have been banned. Since May 2005 already eight public manifestations by GenderDoc-M were banned. Absence of action by police amounts to grave violations of the right to freedom of assembly and put in danger the personal security of all march participants.

GenderDoc-M calls on Moldovan authorities to guarantee freedom of peaceful assembly and expression to everyone. We also call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to fulfil their lawful responsibilities and ensure exercise of the right to freedom of assembly and safety of those taking part in public manifestations.

GenderDoc-M calls on the European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and human rights NGOs to raise these human rights violations at the highest level with Moldovan authorities, and to put pressure on Moldovan government to implement its own laws without discrimination and its international human rights commitments. Moldovan authorities must be held responsible for their behaviour.

Images are available here http://flickr.com/photos/26534797@N08/