Freedom of assembly finally ensured for LGBT people
After 15 years of struggle, Civil Rights Defender’s Moldovan partner GenderDoc-M was finally able to exercise its legitimate right to assembly on 14 February. All previous attempts have been banned or in different ways hindered by the authorities. Freedom of assembly is not only a human right, guaranteed by major international and European instruments, but also expressed in the Constitution of Moldova.
On 14 February, eight persons participated in a march with the slogan “Love Instead of Hatred” in the central boulevard of the capital Chisinau. Eight persons is a limited number but 14 February was a working day and not many LGBT people dare to publicly manifest their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Moldova violated the right to freedom of assembly and the prohibition of discrimination when the demonstration organised by GenderDoc-M was banned in 2005. The march on February 14 was a test towards the authorities, with a positive outcome. The Executive Director of GenderDoc-M thanked the police and said that the participants felt completely safe.
“We are happy that the Moldovan authorities not only respected their constitutional obligations and ensured that the LGBT people are guaranteed their right to freedom of assembly, but also fulfilled their positive duty to protect the participants,” says Åsa Bergqvist, Program Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Civil Rights Defenders.
Tags: Discrimination, Freedom of assembly, and LGBT.