Hate crime against LGBT community condemned

Published: December 17, 2012

Center for Social Emancipation (QESh) and Libertas strongly condemns the attack that occurred last night, Sunday 16th December, on our office, a safe space for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT). On Sunday Libertas organized a meeting to discuss the happenings that took place two days ago at the Kosovo 2.0 event.

At our office there where around 17 people from the LGBT community. Two of our LGBT community members went out to buy something. When they left the office, a group of 7 men were waiting outside and attacked these two individuals with violence. One of the LGBT community members was severely beaten up by 3 or 4 of the men. The other member of the LGBT community went up to the office to warn the people there. Meanwhile one of the staff of Libertas opened the window to see what was happening. The attackers used this opportunity to throw some kind of gas into the office. While they were chasing the member of the community that was warning us, they managed to get in the building and created fear and panic.

During this attack the police was contacted and arrived at the office quickly and took control of the situation. The police helped us to evacuate the office and the attacked victim was taken to the police station to give a statement. The police decided to press charges against unknown persons for the attack of the community and for the act bodily harms.

The attack happened only two days after the attack against Kosovo 2.0 event of launching the magazine on sex and sexuality, where extremists violently entered the event and demolished the scene and attacked two of the organizers. Only one person was arrested but was later released by the prosecutor order immediately after giving statement at the police station. Although there where 20 people attacking Kosovo 2.0 we strongly believe that the release of the abuser could have had an impact on the attack against Libertas – LGBT community. Additionally, none of the attackers on Libertas have so far been arrested but the investigation is continuing. The police officers handled the situation extremely well and in professional manners after the attack.

Libertas and QESh urges now that, due to their responsibilities, individuals, government authorities, civil society organizations and media in support of the LGBT community take serious and strong actions against the organized violence that is taking place in Pristine these three days.

WE also urge the prosecution office to take serious measures against the attackers and investigate why the abuser arrested on Friday was released.

This was the second organized attack towards the LGBT community in Kosovo. Libertas was a safe place for our community members where could express themselves, be themselves and feel secure. That is not the case today. Even though these actions created fear, it also made us stronger. From these incidents LGBT community will continue to fight even stronger and advocate for our rights. And here we don’t stand alone but together with the support of many other organizations, individuals and even governmental institutions within Kosovo society.

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