Vilnius bans pride parade

  • 2010-05-06
  • Oskars Magone

Past Pride Parade events in the Baltics have been met with widespread protests.

VILNIUS -- A Lithuanian court has suspended permission for this weekends Pride Parade, invoking harsh criticism from human rights groups over the country's extremely poor track record on combatting homophobia.

General Prosecutor Raimondas Petrauskas convinced the Vilnius district court to ban the parade, scheduled for Saturday, citing security concerns -- this despite a statement from the police force earlier this week that they would be able to control any protests. 

The court agreed to suspend the liscense for the parade until a full hearing could take place, but this hearing is not expected to take place until after the scheduled parade date.

The ban on the pride parade drew criticism from international human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

"The Attorney General's application is an abuse of the legal process and will result in the violation of human rights," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's expert on discrimination in Europe, in a press release.

Authorities had previously said that there would be no problems with security at the event.

"We‘ve had meetings with police representatives and we have been asured that the forces needed for Saturday and Sunday will be provided. So people who will be servicing on those days, will face no big challenges," Vilnius city mayor Vilius Navickas told BNS Tuesday -- the same day the the prosecutor general filed his appeal in court.