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Minister Signe Riisalo and the Estonian LGBT Association strongly condemn the hate crime

Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo and the Estonian LGBT Association strongly condemn the hate crime and assault on Finnish pastor Patrick Tiainen that took place on Sunday. It is a hate crime based on belonging to several minority groups.


Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo and the Estonian LGBT Association strongly condemn the hate crime and assault on Finnish pastor Patrick Tiainen that took place on Sunday. It is a hate crime based on belonging to several minority groups.


The religiously motivated hate crime on Sunday was a horrifying end to a successful and peaceful Baltic Pride solidarity week. Thousands of participants from Estonia and foreign guests felt safe, for which we thank PPA, who took care of the security of the events with special attention and dedication during this week.


The attack took place at the last event of the festival, a meeting of Christian association, and the attacker was a Russian citizen. In a broad sense, we can see that the topic of LGBT+ people's rights can be considered an intercultural struggle today - Europe versus Russia. But the attacks are empowered and fueled by hateful public statements.


"Baltic Pride week was full of various events and it culminated in a march with 7,000 participants on Saturday, when we experienced the openness of Estonian society and respect for all our people. It was a day of joy, which passed with laughter and expressions of support. The subsequent act of violence at the Estonian gay Christians Prayer is all the more shocking. I sympathize with the victims and their relatives, as well as those who witnessed this monstrous act, to whom we are ready to offer all kinds of psychological support. There is no justification for any kind of violence, and I wish that all instigators of hatred could also see the responsibility they bear in this act," commented the Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo on the incident.


"We can think that the life of LGBT+ people in Estonia is rather good and safe. Yes, the survey by the Estonian Human Rights Center clearly confirms that since 2017, the opinion of Estonian people towards LGBT people has improved, but at the same time, public negative opinions are more violent today than ever before. Violent statements lead to real violent acts," commented Kristel Rannaääre, board member and training manager of the Estonian LGBT Association.


The Estonian LGBT Association carefully monitors the progress of the ongoing criminal proceedings and is in contact with the police if necessary. The association is also in close contact with the Association of Gay Christians and the victims who were present at the event. Estonian LGBT Association supports the victims in every way and helps to communicate with various authorities.


Yesterday, on the last day of Baltic Pride, at an event organized by the NGO Association of Gay Christians, a hate crime motivated by religious affiliation and sexual orientation was committed, where a young man with Russian citizenship attacked a Finnish pastor who spoke at the event, beating the victim with his fists and injuring him with a knife.


In addition to the pastor, two people were injured in the attack, who protected the injured man from the attacker and held the attacker until the police arrived. The police arrested the 25-year-old man as a suspect in the crime and started criminal proceedings to investigate the incident.


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