On 6 November, the organisers of the annual Eastern European and Central Asia Forum Conference of LGBTI+ Christians were forced to cancel the 2018 event, scheduled to take place in Yerevan on 14-18 November.
This decision was forced upon the organisers after a series of death threats, vandalism and homophobic acts directed at (perceived) LGBTI people in Armenia.
“ILGA-Europe are demanding a swift response from national authorities in Armenia – they must investigate these attacks, hold the perpetrators accountable and defend their LGBTI citizens.” said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis. “Attacks of this nature cannot be dismissed or ignored.”
Local host organisation ‘New Generation’ had to suspend its work after staff members were intimidated by anti-LGBTI activists and its director’s car was vandalised. Several tourists who were thought to be Forum attendees were violently assaulted on the street in early November and Forum participants received hundreds of death threats on social media.
Politicians and law enforcement agencies alike have failed to live up to their responsibility to protect the lives and physical integrity of their citizens. Even more worryingly, in some cases, they have actively escalated the tension.