Unidentified assailants attack gay Pride parade in Estonia

Posted on 17 Aug 2006 at 2:02pm
By Associated Press

Attackers injure 15 participants in march through Tallinn; 1 man hospitalized for injuries, others treated at the scene



Security guards detain a protester at a gay Pride parade held in the streets of Tallinn, Estonia on Aug. 12.

TALLINN, Estonia A group of unidentified assailants attacked a gay Pride parade in the Estonian capital on Aug. 12, beating participants and throwing stones and sticks at them, injuring about 15 people, organizers said.

The parade of about 500 people was making its way through Tallinn’s Old Town when a group of about 30 people attacked the march, said Lisette Kampus, spokeswoman of Tallinn Pride which was organizing the parade.

A French man participating in the march was rushed to hospital with a head injury, while others received first aid treatment at the scene for minor injuries, Kampus said.

She said that although police tried to intervene, they were “too slow to react” and were understaffed.

Kampus said the start of the parade was delayed by some 20 minutes due to a bomb threat made before the event.

“This was a very ugly incident,” she said, adding that there had been no problems in the parades during the past two years.

In July, the city council of Riga in neighboring Latvia cited security concerns and canceled what would have been that country’s first gay Pride parade. The parade’s Latvian organizer said it would sue the city council.

“We really wanted to believe that Estonia is somehow different a Nordic country instead of an Eastern European country but unfortunately today shows us very strongly that we are not ready to knock on the Scandinavian doors,” Kampus said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 18, 2006.

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