Anti-LGBTQ+ violence in Europe hits decade-high, report finds

Anti-LGBTQ+ violence in Europe hits decade-high, report finds
Опубликовано: Monday, 20 February 2023 14:05

Hate speech is ‘a real problem with dire consequences for people and communities,’ says top activist.

Violence against LGBTQ+ people reached its highest point in the past decade in Europe and Central Asia in 2022, a report released Monday by the European International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) shows.

The region saw a stark increase in violence against LGBTQ+ individuals, including planned attacks but also suicides, against the backdrop of “rising and widespread hate speech from politicians, religious leaders, right-wing organizations and media pundits.”

Last year’s episodes of violence include the shooting outside a gay bar in Oslo, which killed two and injured 21 last June, as well as a similar attack against an LGBTQ+ venue in Bratislava, in which two people were killed by a gunman last October.

“This year, we have seen that violence become increasingly planned and deadly, leaving LGBTQ+ people feeling unsafe in countries across Europe,” ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director Evelyne Paradis said in a press release.

“We have seen proof that anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech is not just the words of marginal leaders or would-be autocrats, but a real problem with dire consequences for people and communities,” Paradis added.

The report, published every year and covering 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia, as well as four European institutions, is based upon publicly available information, complemented by interviews with human rights activists, legal experts and NGOs.

Hate speech is also on the rise, the report finds — much of it related to trans people. Hate speech from politicians and state officials was reported in 23 countries across Europe, as well as Azerbaijan, while there was an increase in transphobic speech in five other western European countries, including “hostile media reporting.”

Yet, “convictions of hate crime perpetrators have increased” in 10 European countries and Azerbaijan, and an increasing number of officials and media representatives have been taken to court for hate crime and hate speech in seven European countries.

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