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Police prepare for Rainbow Pride 2011 in Bratislava; ambassadors express support

Bratislava Regional Police are preparing special security measures for June 4, the day that the second annual Rainbow Pride parade is set to take place in the streets of Slovakia's capital, the TASR newswire reported, citing police spokesperson Petra Hrašková on Thursday, June 2. The measures are designed to ensure that participants at the event, organised to draw attention to the rights of non-heterosexual people, won't face attacks from extremists, as occurred last year.

Bratislava Regional Police are preparing special security measures for June 4, the day that the second annual Rainbow Pride parade is set to take place in the streets of Slovakia's capital, the TASR newswire reported, citing police spokesperson Petra Hrašková on Thursday, June 2. The measures are designed to ensure that participants at the event, organised to draw attention to the rights of non-heterosexual people, won't face attacks from extremists, as occurred last year.

Slovakia saw its first ever gay and lesbian parade in May 2010, but that Rainbow Pride was disrupted by extremists, many of them skinheads, who attacked participants and clashed with police. Twenty-nine people were brought in for questioning after the event, which involved around 200 officers from various police forces.

Deputy Prime Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Rudolf Chmel (Most-Híd) has expressed his support for this year's event; however, as of Thursday, June 2, he still could not confirm whether he would participate, citing several invitations to various events at the same time as the reason, the SITA newswire reported.

Twenty ambassadors and representatives of embassies to Slovakia on Thursday signed a joint statement in support of the second annual Rainbow Pride parade. "We, as members of the international community, stand both literally and figuratively with parade participants as they peacefully assemble to stand up for their human rights, and raise awareness of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual] community in Slovakia," read a joint statement provided to the media by the US Embassy in Bratislava. "Everyone, including LGBT people, should be free to enjoy the rights and freedoms laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We celebrate the contribution made by LGBT communities in our own societies and salute the efforts of the Slovak authorities in ensuring LGBT rights are protected here," reads the statement signed by the Ambassadors of Australia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United States, and the head of the representation of the European Commission.

Sources: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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