MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — Amnesty International urges the European Union to elaborate the legislation to prevent and prosecute hate crimes against LGBTI persons, and the European Commission to propose new ways of battling discriminatory violence.
"The European Union (EU) and its member states must urgently act to prevent and prosecute homophobic and transphobic crime, Amnesty International said today. The call comes ahead of today's Italian EU Presidency and Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) joint Conference on tackling Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Brussels," Amnesty International said in a statement.
"The daily and ongoing violence experienced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people in Europe is a serious and heinous form of discrimination," Nicolas Beger, director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office, is cited as saying by the organization.
In order to fight homophobic and transphobic crimes, EU member states must recognize and respond to the crimes' true motive with national legislation, Amnesty International said.
"Amnesty International is calling on the European Commission to propose new standards to combat discriminatory violence on all grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and on member states to support such an initiative," the statement reads.
The organization noted the case of Mihail Stoyanov, a 25-year-old student, who was brutally murdered in a park in Bulgaria's capital Sofia in 2008. According to Amnesty International, Stoyanov's killing is yet to be recognized as a hate crime, even though witnesses testified that the young man was murdered by a mob, who claimed to be "cleansing the park of gays".
"The EU and member states owe it to Mihail and all other victims of hate crime to acknowledge the true motive of such crimes. Only then can Europe move towards bringing about true justice for the victims and ending these heinous crimes once and for all," Beger stated.