The Baltic Pride March set to take place in Riga, Latvia, this Saturday has been banned by the city council’s Commission on Meetings, Marches and Demonstrations.

Two days earlier, 34 of the 60 Riga city council members signed a letter demanding the ban of the march. The letter stated that the permission which was previously granted to allow the event should be withdrawn, on the grounds that it was offensive to public decency and posed a threat to public security.

The European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) said that it is appalled by the u-turn and called for the Latvian President, Latvian Prime Minister and Mayor of Riga to immediately reverse the decision.

“This is disgraceful violation of human rights of LGBT people and a huge blow to Latvia’s basic democratic values and rights,” said Dirk de Meirleir, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.

“This is extremely illegal and is based only on hatred,” said Kaspars Zalitis, coordinator of Latvia’s Amnesty International Youth Group. “The decision should only be taken if there was extreme danger and the police have assured us they have all the resources in place to protect us.”

The parade was set to be attended by around 700 people, and the organisers Mozaika, the Lithuanian Gay League and Estonian Gay Youth, said that they will contest the ban in court.

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