Rise in anti-LGBTI violence in Europe and Central Asia

Rise in anti-LGBTI violence in Europe and Central Asia


The year 2022 has been marked by a “sharp increase” in violence against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people in Europe and Central Asia, warns the NGO ILGA -Europe in its annual report published on Monday. 

This federation of more than 600 organizations in 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia says that “2022 has been the year violence against LGBTI people across the region in more than a decade (…), following increasingly widespread hate speech.”

The NGO also notes an “increase (in the number) of reported suicides” of LGBTI people, citing “that of a young couple in Armenia victim of harassment” as well as those of “three trans women in Italy and one in Moldova ”.

“These last twelve months there has been a sharp increase not only in violence against LGBTI people but also in the intensity of this violence”, worries ILGA-Europe in the 12th edition of its annual report.

She recalls the attack that took place near a gay bar in Oslo in June, when a man opened fire on the sidelines of Pride celebrations, killing two and injuring 21. As well as the one that left two dead and one injured in October in front of a bar in Bratislava frequented by the LGBTI community.

In Azerbaijan, an LGBTI activist, Avaz Hafizli, was mutilated and killed by his cousin in February 2022 and, in Ireland, two homophobic murders took place in April in the coastal town of Sligo, ILGA-Europe points out.

According to the NGO, physical or verbal anti-LGBTI attacks are on the rise in France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia , Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

ILGA-Europe notes, however, that convictions for the perpetrators of these crimes are more numerous, particularly in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, in the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Spain and Ukraine.

“At ILGA-Europe, we have been saying for years that hate speech in all their forms result in physical violence,” commented ILGA European Branch Director Evelyne Paradis.

“Across Europe, many political figures have reacted in horror to the murders of LGBTI people this year and, if the testimonies of solidarity are always necessary, this does not answer the root of the pr problem,” she added, calling on “progressive leaders to find effective ways to combat hate speech.”