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PACE conference in Warsaw focuses on freedom of expression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

13.03.2013 – Freedom of expression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people – including their right to organise marches and rallies – will be the theme of a parliamentary conference in Warsaw on Tuesday 19 March 2013, organised by the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in co-operation with the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament.

Experts will present the latest information on laws around Europe banning so-called “homosexual propaganda”, recent research on homophobic hate speech, Council of Europe standards in this field and recent action at UN and EU level. Organisers of banned gay pride marches in St Petersburg and Belgrade will also testify to their experiences.

The Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, Wanda Nowicka, will open the conference. Other participants include:

  • Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz, Secretary of State, Polish Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment
  • Brigitta Ohlsson, Swedish EU Affairs Minister
  • Sir Nicolas Bratza, former President of the European Court of Human Rights
  • Robert Biedroń, member of the Polish delegation to PACE, Vice-Chair of the Sejm’s Committee on Justice and Human Rights
  • Calliope Spanou, Greek Ombudsperson
  • Tina Acketoft, Chairperson of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination

The day before the conference, the committee is due to make public a memorandum by Håkon Haugli (Norway, SOC) on “Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Full programme
Biographies of the speakers

Practical information

The conference will take place from 9am to 4.30pm on Tuesday 19 March 2013 in the conference hall of New Parliamentarian House (Nowy Dom Poselski) at the Polish Sejm (ul. Weijska 4/6/8, Warsaw, entrance D5) and is open to the press, subject to availability of space. Media interested in attending are invited to request accreditation below.

A link to a live webcam feed of the conference (in English) will be available on the websites of the Sejm and PACE, and an archive recording will be posted as soon as possible.

Press stand-ups may be arranged on the spot.
Twitter hash-tag for the conference: #PACELGBT.


PACE Communication Division: Angus Macdonald, e-mail: [email protected],
mobile +33 6 30 49 68 20.

Press Service of the Sejm: Magdalena Duda, e-mail: [email protected]