Hate Speech Against LGBT People

Civil Rights Defenders is concerned about the discrimination against LGBT people in the public debate in Albania. We condemn the statements made by politicians and call on the authorities to put an end to the hate speech endorsing violence against LGBT persons.

“The statements given by public figures are violating the prohibition of discrimination, guaranteed by Article 18 of the Albanian Constitution and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Albania has adopted a Law against Discrimination that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said Goran Miletic, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Last week, Ekrem Spahiu, the Vice Minister of Defense and leader of the parties in the governing coalition (Legality Movement Party) stated that he is against parades of gays and called for use of violence against them.

“What remains to be done is to beat them up with a stick. If you don’t understand this, I can explain it: to beat them with a rubber stick,” he said to the daily Gazeta Squiptare.

His statement was made as a response to a statement made by an LGBT organisation, Pink Embassy, announcing their plans for the 17th of May, which included raising the LGBT flag in one of the main squares in Tirana.

Instead of apologising, the Legality Movement Party, lead by Mr. Spahiu backed up his earlier statement by calling LGBT persons “disgrace and curse” and two other parties echoed their position.

The Albanian Ombudsman publicly called Mr. Spahiu to apologise for his comments and refrain from statements that violate the rights of LGBT persons and encourage hate. The Albanian Prime Minister issued a reprimand to Mr. Spahiu.

Based on Albania’s law against discrimination, our partner Aleanca submitted complaints to the Commissioner against Discrimination.

Civil Rights Defenders expect the commissioner to react prompt and fully protect the LGBT community during the planned event on the International Day against Homophobia, 17 May.

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