Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/10/12/Add.1, 4 March 2009: Bulgaria
342. On 27 June 2008, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal concerning the Gay Pride Parade organized by the Bulgarian Gay Organization “Gemini” and scheduled to take place in Sofia on 28 June 2008. According to information received, reports indicated that several websites have published content which incite hostility and violence towards participants in the Gay Pride march. The website of the Ataka political party has called for an ‘intervention’ by all those opposed to the march and has associated the Parade with paedophilia. Furthermore, on 19 June the Bulgarian National Union (BNU) released a message on its official website reportedly entitled “BNU against homosexuality and paedophilia”announcing a campaign called ‘Don’t be tolerant, be normal – A week of intolerance against homosexuality and paedophilia’ from 22 June onwards. In the course of the week, the BNU is reportedly organizing round tables advocating the restriction of public displays of homosexuality and reportedly calling for direct opposition to the march of 28 June.
343. Deep concern was expressed that these statements may lead to threats intimidation and violence towards participants in the Gay Pride March in Sofia, who are exercising their legitimate and peaceful right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. In this context, I also express my serious concern for the physical and psychological integrity of the participants in the aforementioned march and for speech which may incite hatred.
344. The Special Rapporteur regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted a reply to the communication of 27 July 2008. She considers response to her communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with her mandate, and urges the Government to respond to the concerns raised by her.
Link to full text of the report: Summary of cases-SR Human Rights Defenders-2009-eng