IDAHOT Events 2015: Albania

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For the first time in Albania, 9 young human rights activists, LGBT and non-LGBT have come together and agreed to appear on a poster which asks the simple yet important question: “How long do you have for your rights?”.

[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at[/box]
The campaign has been launched by PINK Embassy Albania to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. They took inspiration, again, from the global theme of this year’s IDAHOT to produce a poster focuses on youth issues. It will be soon accompanied with a press release which puts emphasis on the challenges and difficulties that young LGBTI people in Albania face such as bullying in school, eviction from home, substance abuse, internalized homophobia etc.
Albania IDAHOT 2015
Meanwhile throughout May members of the PINK team travelled across Albania to give open lectures at public universities on subjects related to discrimination and LGBT equality.
You can find the full programme of talks and discussions on the Albania- IDAHOT programme
Tirana Bike (P)ride

The Alliance Against Discrimination and ProLGBT the two major LGBTI organizations in Albania invited everyone to the Tirana Gay Ride which turned out a great success with hundreds of participants.
This is the 4th consecutive year that human rights activists and their allies organize this public event in the center of Tirana.
The objectives for this year were:

– For all of those young LGBTI who are forced to leave their homes or who face systematically domestic violence
– For all LGBTI people who are forced to live a double life and hide their own identity
– To protest for all promises never kept by the government. We were promised that the public institution were going to be on our side in a long awareness campaign but until now the awareness process has been done only by the organizations. The government promised also to legalize the same sex partnership following the recommendations of Council of Europe but after two years this is still just a promise never kept.
– We will march because we want to stop the violence and injustices inside families, schools, employment, and everywhere they happen.

The meeting point was at Mother Teresa Square and “Ecovolis” provided bikes for everyone. The Gay Ride went through the Boulevard of Martyrs and continued till the end of “King Zog I” boulevard.
Read their statement after the successful event here:

Hundreds of activists participated today at the 4th Pride event (the first took place in 2012) riding with bicycles at the Boulevard of Martyrs and Boulevard “King Zog I”.

They protested for the domestic violence which LGBTI people are facing every day and they demanded to the Prime Minister Edi Rama to keep his promises.  Foreign ambassadors showed up at the event but a part of the Ombudsman and Commissioner for Anti Discrimination no one from the government was present.

“We were only 12 people who challenged the discrimination and fear in 2012 and now we are hundreds”, said Kristi Pinderi, activist. He added: “We know we are thousand and we protest today also on behalf of those who cannot be here, but who is missing is our Prime Minister Edi Rama and the leader of the opposition Lulzim Basha who know very well to give promises but they always fail to keep them”.

Xheni Karaj, LGBTI activist said: “We protest today against every injustice people are forced to face in this country. We protest also for the Roma Community, also for people with disabilities, also for women who are violated and killed every day”.

Supported by Ecovolis, a large environmental group in the country, the participants in this joyful protest asked to the Police not to block the traffic. They respected all street signs in respect for every citizen not causing any problem with the traffic.

Holding a 12 meters long LGBTI flag they than marched back in front of the prime minister office. The activists reminded him: “You promised us you were going to vote for a partnership legalisation but you haven’t done it yet, you also promised you were going to be on our side in the long process of educating and emancipating the society, which you never did”.

In there banners was written: “It is Ok to be Gay”, “Ride with Pride”, “We demand equal rights not special rights”, “Yes, I support LGBTI rights, No, I am not gay”, etc.

One day ago the most important LGBTI organizations in the country, Aleanca LGBT and ProLGBT successfully organized a charity event. All money raised will go to support STREHA the first residential shelter in the whole region for LGBTI young people (age 18-25).

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