Ban on Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie is illegal

Ban on Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie is illegal

Brussels, 8 April 2019

The President of the Polish city of Gniezno has banned the Pride event due to take place this weekend. The decision is illegal, contravening both a European Court of Human Rights judgment and the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association, has written to the city’s President urging him to reconsider. The letter states:

Your decision breaches fundamental freedoms and human rights of LGBTI people in Gniezno, and presents a poor impression of Poland across the world.

As you will be aware, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2007 in the case of Poland v Backowski that the banning of a Pride march in Warsaw was a breach of Articles 11, 13 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, Article 57 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland also provides protection for citizens and allows them the freedom to organise peaceful assembly.

Peaceful, successful Pride marches have taken place in Poland for many years, including EuroPride Warsaw in 2010. There is no justification for restricting the right of LGBTI people in Gniezno – or anywhere in Poland – to come together peacefully and to hold a Pride event. The only possible reason for attempting to ban such an event is homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

We urge you to reconsider your illegal decision, allow the event to take place this weekend, and commit to ensuring that police and other authorities provide appropriate protection to ensure the safety of the participants.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days, and offer our full support to the organisers.

Read the full letter here.