Budapest urged to allow Pride march routeTop Highlights, Around the World Thursday, April 19th, 2012
BUDAPEST, Hungary – The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Budapest police to immediately revoke their decision to refuse planners of the 2012 Pride march permission to pursue their chosen route. In a news release on their Web site, HRW said that the march, scheduled for July 7, should be allowed to go ahead as planned stating the police have an obligation to facilitate the peaceful passage of the march, protect the safety of the participants and ensure that anti-gay protesters are not allowed to disrupt or interfere with the march.
Despite the fact that the Pride march would use one of the most commonly used routes for marches in Budapest, the local police department refused permission for the march, April 6, to proceed stating that it would be impossible to redirect traffic.
“Traffic hasn’t stopped other marches from going ahead on the same route,” said Lydia Gall, Eastern Europe and Balkans researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This is a flimsy pretext to stop LGBT people from exercising the same rights as everyone else.”
The organizers, the Rainbow Mission Foundation and a local human rights organization have appealed the police decision to the Budapest Metropolitan Court.
This is not the first time Hungarian police have tried to interfere with the Pride march. In 2011, when the Rainbow Mission Foundation requested an extension to the planned march route, Budapest police denied their request, stating that the extended route would unduly obstruct traffic. A court overturned the police decision.
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