Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The International Community Must Stand Firmly for Human Rights of All”

On the 3d of September, 2015 the national LGBT* rights organization LGL received an official letter from the United Nations, International Organizations and Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, informing about Lithuania’s position in the U.N. Security Council meeting on the 24th of August, 2015. In response to LGL’s inquiry on the Islamic State’s ongoing persecution of LGBT Syrians and Iraqis, the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania noted that the aforementioned meeting was a closed-door briefing and provided with a text of Lithuania’s address to the U.N. Security Council.

“I thank the United States and Chile for organizing this meeting; also I would like to thank briefers for their testimonies today.

Gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used as justifications for serious human rights violations around the world. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people constitute a vulnerable group, who continue to fall victims of persecution, discrimination, bullying and ill-treatment.

Syrians and Iraqis continue to endure appalling suffering on the territories controlled by the Daesh/ISIS where massive and gross human rights violations, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian law are perpetrated every day. Images of men being thrown from the buildings and then stoned to death for their alleged sexual orientation, as crowds, including children, are watching, are deeply disturbing. Such executions are meant to spread terror and fear among people who do not conform to certain expected standards.

There are no easy answers on how to stop the murderous violence perpetrated by the Daesh. We do believe that discussions in today’s meeting will contribute to the universal applicability of international human rights law and principles, including that of non-discrimination because “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

The international community, however, must stand firmly for human rights of all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, beliefs, colour, gender, or sexual orientation and must act urgently to protect lives and help all those fleeing violence, including all vulnerable groups.

Indeed, all human rights should be enjoyed by all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. The use of violence, including torture, ill-treatment and killings against vulnerable minorities is abhorrent and should not be overlooked and condoned. Accountability for the commission of such crimes must be pursued with all due vigor, whenever and wherever such crimes take place.

We welcome the many positive steps taken in recent decades to protect LGBT* individuals from human rights violations and abuses. In many countries, hate crime laws and other measures have been introduced to combat homophobic violence, and anti-discrimination laws have been strengthened to provide effective legal protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public and private spheres. But for these guarantees to have meaning they must be respected by all Governments, with whom lies the ultimate responsibility for the protection of human rights and human lives.”

The national LGBT* rights organization LGL welcomes the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania for its firm position on the protection of LGBT* human rights during the address to the U.N. Security Council meeting. The association LGL hopes that all member states of the U.N. Security Council, including Lithuania, will take immediate measures to confront the Islamic State’s ongoing persecution of LGBT Syrians and Iraqis.