Lithuania: Arsonist attacks LGBT rights group office

An arsonist attacked Lithuania LGBT rights group’s office this morning (10 August). Police are investigating after the Lithuania Gay League (LGL office door was set aflame by an unknown arsonist in Vilnius.

The arsonist used an unknown flammable substance to set the exterior door and blinds on fire. A taxi driver noticed the flames while driving by. He used a portable fire extinguisher before the emergency services arrived.

LGL communications coordinator Eglė Kuktoraitė told Gay Star News she walked into the office this morning, noticing the blackened door. She said: ‘We hope police will recognize that this is obviously a hate crime. We have rainbow flags on our windows. We have a rainbow crosswalk by our office. It definitely wasn’t random.'

A police spokesperson has now said the pre-trial investigation was qualified as an act of vandalism. He confirmed he was not familiar with the concept of ‘hate crimes’. Read more via Gay Star News

Naktinį padegimą gėjai laiko neapykantos nusikaltimu: „Policija ne iš karto tai pripažino“

Naktį iš ketvirtadienio į penktadienį įvykdytą išpuolį, kai kol kas nežinomi piktadariai Vilniaus centre padegė bendras drabužių parduotuvės ir Lietuvos gėjų lygos biuro duris, Vilniaus gėjai laiko neapykantos nusikaltimu. Pasak LGL atstovų, policija ne iš karto tai norėjo pripažinti.

Kaip jau skelbė, naktį iš ketvirtadienio į penktadienį, apie 4 val., Vilniuje, Pylimo gatvėje, degė lauko durys į Lietuvos gėjų lygos biurą. Pro šias duris galima patekti ir į drabužių parduotuvę pirmame aukšte, todėl policija apie gaisrą pranešė tik parduotuvės darbuotojams, o Gėjų lygos darbuotojai sudegusias duris pamatė tik iš ryto atėję į darbą.

E.Platovas girdėjo, kad policininkai patarė rūbų parduotuvės darbuotojams ant durų aiškiai parašyti „rūbai“, kad ten nebūtų tik LGL iškabos. „Policijos nenoras pripažinti neapykantos nusikaltimą - jos neprofesionalumo įrodymas“,- sakė E.Platovas.

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The night of a Thursday afternoon offensive, when unknown atrocities in the center of Vilnius have set fire to the general clothing store and the doors of the Lithuanian Gay League office, the gay men of Vilnius consider themselves a hate crime. According to LGL representatives, the police did not immediately want to acknowledge this.

As already announced by , on the night of Thursday, Friday, around 4 o'clock in Vilnius, Pylimo Street, the outside door was burned to the Lithuanian Gay League office . The door is also accessible to the clothing store on the first floor, so the police reported only the shop workers about the fire, and Gay League employees saw the burned door only in the morning coming to work.

Leader of the LGL program manager Eduardas Platov told that their community was very grateful to the taxi driver who, while he was seeing the flames, stopped and quenched his fire extinguisher.

E.Platov heard that the police had advised the clothing store employees to clearly write "clothes" on the door, so that there would not be just LGL signboards. "The police's reluctance to recognize the crime of hatred is proof of its unprofessional nature," said E.Platov.