On the 10th August, 2018 at 04.00 A. M. the entrance to the office of the National LGBT rights organization LGL (partner in both Come Forward and Call it hate projects) was badly damaged by a vicious homophobic attack. The exterior door and door blinds were set on fire using unknown flammable substance. The LGL office is located in the central area of Vilnius.
The incident was first noticed by a taxi driver, who accidentally drove by. The taxi driver used a portable fire extinguisher and managed to extinguish the fire even before the representatives of the fire and rescue department, the police and ambulance arrived to the crime scene.
The association LGL shares the entrance to its offices with a clothes store. Thus the representatives of the National LGBT rights organization LGL believe that the incident was motivated by hate towards the local LGBT community and organization which represents their interests. Therefore, LGL applied to Vilnius County 3rd Police Department asking the police to investigate the circumstances and motives of the crime, including recordings of CCTV and to ensure security of the LGL office and employees during the ongoing pre-trial investigation.
„This incident clearly indicates that hate crimes on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity remain an important issue in Lithuania. It is disapointing to see that such horrific crimes still take place in 2018 in the heart of our beautiful capital Vilnius. We would like to kindly thank the taxi driver who took the initiative to extinguish the fire and saved our offices from more major damages. We hope that the true motives of the incident will be duly clarified,“ commented Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of the National LGBT rights organization LGL.