Bulgaria: Eighteen embassies support Sofia Pride Parade

Written by on June 9, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: Eighteen embassies support Sofia Pride Parade

A total of seventeen foreign embassies in Bulgaria, the chargé d’affaires at the Australian embassy in Athens, and the Ambassador for Human Rights of Luxembourg have released a statement of support for the Bulgarian LGBTI community and the Sofia Pride Parade, which takes place on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

In the statement it says, the ambassadors conveyed their support to all participants of the parade. “Promoting equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is an important aspect of a tolerant and respectful civil society”, it read.

The statement signed by the ambassadors, as well as the representatives of the United Nations organisations UNICEF and UNHCR in Bulgaria, goes on saying the Sofia Pride had always promoted essential democratic values such as human rights and tolerance.

According to the ambassadors and the other signatories, no person should have to fear discrimination, whether it be on the basis of ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation or sex. “By signing this statement, we encourage Bulgarians to join the Sofia Pride March and to embrace LGBTI people as equal citizens, without prejudice or discrimination, and to promote LGBTI equality”, it says in the document, the Bulgarian version of which will be read to the participants at the Pride Parade tomorrow.

The signatories are:

Roland Hauser – Ambassador of Austria
Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes – Ambassador of Brazil
Kevin Hamilton – Ambassador of Canada
Ljerka Alajberg – Ambassador of Croatia
Stavros Avgoustides – Ambassador of Cyprus
Christian Kønigsfeldt – Ambassador of Denmark
Päivi Blinnikka – Ambassador of Finland
Éric Lebédel – Ambassador of France
Detlef Lingemann – Ambassador of Germany
Irit Lillian – Ambassador of Israel
Stefano Baldi – Ambassador of Italy
Marc Bichler – Ambassador for Human Rights of Luxemburg
Tom J.M. van Oorschot – Ambassador of the Netherlands
Tove Bruvik Westberg – Ambassador of Norway
Louise Bergholm – Ambassador of Sweden
Emma Hopkins – Ambassador of the United Kingdom
Eric Rubin – Ambassador of the United States of America
Gregory Michael Andrews – Ambassador of New Zealand
Andrea Carlo Biggi – Chargé d’affaires a.i. of Australia in Athens
Maria Jesus Conde – UNICEF Representative to Bulgaria
Mathijs Le Rutte – UNHCR Representative to Bulgaria

Apart from a positive message of support for the LGBTI community in Bulgaria, the declaration is a slap in the face of the Bulgarian government, according to observers. That is because neither the Bulgarian government, nor Sofia Municipality have conveyed one single message of support.

Two radical right-wing coalition partners of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Ataka and VMRO, have commented on the parade, by saying it was “an assault on Bulgarian values”. Ataka even wants to criminalise participants of the Sofia Pride Parade. So far, not one government official has condemned those scandalous statements.

The full support statement by the embassies can be found here.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com