“I am deeply disturbed by the recent grave attacks on the LGBT community in Europe, especially the savage murder of Ekaterina Khomenko, a Russian lesbian dance teacher, and the attack on a German gay activist in Belgrade,” said Robert Biedroń (Poland, SOC), General rapporteur on the rights of LGBT people for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). “This activist was in Serbia to attend the international conference on LGBT issues, which I also attended in my capacity as General rapporteur.”
“Verbal and physical violence against LGBT people is on the rise. I am alarmed by the growing public consent to such violence, which was especially expressed in online comments in Russia regarding the murder of Ms Khomenko. The anti-LGBT laws introduced and discussed in some Council of Europe member states are leading, as expected, to an escalation of discrimination and violence, and to a growing feeling of insecurity and fear among LGBT people. This situation is unacceptable and is in striking contrast with the principles that should govern our societies, especially in the member states of the Council of Europe, which have committed themselves to enforce and protect human rights for all by joining this international organisation.
I call on the authorities of the Russian Federation and Serbia to ensure respect for the human rights of everyone and to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding both cases.”