Back to top

LGBTI rights defender Bekim Asani physically attacked

Status: 
Physical attack
About the situation

On 29 June 2019, LGBTI rights defender Bekim Asani was threatened and attacked by a group of unknown assailants in Skopje, North Macedonia. Bekim Asani is a chair of the LGBT United Tetovo Macedonia.

About Bekim Asani

Bekim AsaniBekim Asani is a human rights defender who is working to protect the rights of LGBTI community
in North Macedonia. He is also the chair of LGBT United Tetovo Macedonia in the city of Tetovo, an
NGO focusing on ensuring protection, promotion and respect for human rights, primarily to LGBTI
people, equal access to health care and other vital social and legal services.

2 July 2019
LGBTI rights defender Bekim Asani physically attacked

On 29 June 2019, LGBTI rights defender Bekim Asani was threatened and attacked by a group of unknown assailants in Skopje, North Macedonia. Bekim Asani is a chair of the LGBT United Tetovo Macedonia.

Download the Urgent Appeal

Bekim Asani is a human rights defender who is working to protect the rights of LGBTI community in North Macedonia. He is also the chair of LGBT United Tetovo Macedonia in the city of Tetovo, an NGO focusing on ensuring protection, promotion and respect for human rights, primarily to LGBTI people, equal access to health care and other vital social and legal services.

On 29 June 2019, about 20 unknown assailants recognised Bekim Asani as a representative of the LGBTI United Tetovo Macedonia and started chasing and threatening him and six other LGBTI rights activists, who were accompanying him, while they were trying to reach the taxi to run away from the aggressors. The group of perpetrators followed the taxies of Bekim Asani and other activists by car. After they managed to stop the taxies, one of the assailants dragged the defender
from the car and started hitting Bekim Asani in his head and all over his body while threatening to kill him if he “does not get away from here”. The other activists were also threatened with murder and sexual assault. Three police officers who were nearby were also attacked by the assailants after they tried to intervene. After more police officers arrived and the assailants were eventually arrested, a criminal investigation was opened.

The first Pride Parade in the history of North Macedonia was held in the capital, Skopje earlier the same day as Bekim Asani and other LGBTI activists were attacked. According to the fellow HRDs, more than 1500 activists participated in Skopje Pride. The Parade came as an important step for the LGBTI community as the society of North Macedonia remains conservative and hostile towards its representatives.

Front Line Defenders is gravely concerned about the physical attack against Bekim Asani as it came as a direct result of his peaceful and legitimate work on protection of the rights of LGBTI community in North Macedonia.