Local EU statement on the cancellation of the march against homophobia and transphobia in Suva (22/05/2012)

The European Union Delegation for the Pacific issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Fiji:

The EU Delegation regrets the withdrawal of the permit for a march on 17 May 2012 in Suva to commemorate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, stated at the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia that "when we speak about the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex persons, it is not about introducing new rights for one group of people. It is about the same human rights being applied to every person everywhere without discrimination."

The European Union strongly supports the entitlement by all individuals, without discrimination, to enjoy the full range of human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

The last-minute cancellation of the permit for the march in Suva for "miscommunication" and "safety issues" raises concern about the basic freedoms enjoyed by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community and individuals in Fiji.