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Lithuania Gay League Office Set on Fire

The offices of an LGBT+ rights group, the Lithuania Gay League (LGL), was set on fire, last Friday morning.

At around 4am, an unknown arsonist set the front door of the office on fire after dousing it with a flammable substance. A taxi driver spotted the fire and put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. Police are investigating the incident as an act of vandalism, though LGL communications coordinator Eglė Kuktoraitė says that the act is “obviously a hate crime.”

“We have rainbow flags on our windows. We have a rainbow crosswalk by our office. It definitely wasn’t random,” she said, according to lrytas.

Vladimir Simonko, executive director of LGL, added: “This incident clearly indicates that hate crimes on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity remain an important issue in Lithuania,”

“It is disappointing to see that such horrific crimes still take place in 2018 in the heart of our beautiful capital Vilnius.”

A police spokesperson has said they are unfamiliar with the concept of hate crimes.

“The police’s reluctance to recognize the crime of hatred is proof of its unprofessional nature,” said LGL program manager Eduardas Platov. He also added that the attack ruins “illusions that we live in a tolerant society.”


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