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US Embassy in Kosovo Condemns Attack on LGBT Persons

by Tanya Domi on December 17, 2012

in News

A series of violent attacks occurred over the weekend in Prishtina, Kosovo  against a magazine and LGBT staff members of  a gay organization 

The U.S. Embassy located in Prishtina, Kosovo has issued a statement this morning condemning the attack on Kosovo 2.o, a magazine that attempted to launch a new edition on the subject of “sexuality” including LGBT life in the Western Balkans.  It was reported to The New Civil Rights Movement about an additional attack which occurred last night on the offices of Libertas, a LGBT organization located in Prishtina.  Seyward Darby, a writer for this blog, was told that the office was ransacked and a staff member was beaten.

The statement issued under the authority of Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson concerning the violence at the magazine launch hosted by Kosovo 2.0 and a Sunday evening attack at the offices of the Libertas NGO:

“The U.S. Embassy deplores the violence perpetrated by a mob of extremists at the launch of the Kosovo 2.0 magazine on December 14.  Violence and threats have no place in a modern democratic state, and the United States will always safeguard and protect citizens’ freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Reports suggest part of the violence as well as a separate incident at a local NGO later in the weekend was directed at members of Kosovo’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.  As Secretary Clinton has repeatedly said, the rights of LGBT community members are human rights like any other, and must be protected and never forgotten or ignored.  Regardless of one’s personal opinions or beliefs, no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.   

The United States appreciates the Government of Kosovo’s swift condemnation of this weekend’s incidents, and together we will continue working with all other like-minded communities to advance the human rights of all Kosovo’s people.  While this weekend’s events were disturbing and disappointing, our work to build a strong and diverse Kosovo will continue undeterred by acts of violence.”

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo, also issued a statement on Saturday evening, condemning the violence and called for a swift investigation by law enforcement authorities.

Stay tuned to The New Civil Rights Movement for further developments.

Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia.  Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues.  She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL.  Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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