Europe’s leading LGBTQ+ equality organisation, the European International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), found that 2022 was the most violent year in over a decade for LGBTQ+ people in Europe and Central Asia.
The ILGA-Europe report released on Monday, February 20, demonstrates that hate speech across the region has contributed to an increase in violence through premeditated attacks, murders, and deaths by suicide.
The 12th edition of the annual report is available here, and includes information collected from 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia. The data is gathered from publicly available information in addition to interviews with human rights activists, legal experts, and NGOs.
Published today, the @ILGAEurope #AnnualReview2023 finds that pervasive hate speech across Europe has led to the most violent year for LGBTI people in over decade. Find out more and download your own copy at https://t.co/m6WGbxaIAC pic.twitter.com/s6n1oQvBSV
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) February 20, 2023
In the past decade, there has been a rise in hate speech from politicians, religious leaders, and right-wing organisations, and a rise in transphobic hate speech in media reporting has been of particular concern. According to this report, the consequences of this dialogue have reached critical levels.
ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, said, “…we have been saying for years now that hate speech in all its forms translates into actual physical violence. This year, we have seen that violence become increasingly planned and deadly, leaving LGBTI people feeling unsafe in countries across Europe.”
Data collected shows that hate speech has dire consequences for the LGBTQ+ community. Even in progressive countries where LGBTQ+ people are widely accepted, violence has increased in recent years.
We must form a bulwark against their intolerance.
— Diana Riba i Giner (@DianaRibaGiner) February 20, 2023
Two of the most violent attacks in 2022 include a shooting outside a bar in Oslo last June which killed two and injured 21 people, as well as an attack in an LGBTQ+ venue in Bratislava in October which killed two and injured a third person.
In Ireland, 2022 saw the murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee in Sligo. There were several other attacks reported, including that of Evan Somers, Mark Sheehan and drag performer Alexis McQueen.
On a positive note, the document also released that convictions and prosecutions against those who are committing hate crimes are also on the rise in several countries.
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