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LGBT activists attacked by police

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 12 February 2011, members of several LGBT associations were attacked by police during the celebration of a symbolic act in favor of the LGBT community's rights. The incident took place at the Cathedral and the Main Square of Lima, the capital city of Peru.

The attacks took place while about twenty gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual couples were celebrating "Besos contra la homofobia" (known internationally as a "Kiss-in against homophobia"), organized by Lima's Homosexual Organisation (MOHL). Although it was a peaceful and symbolic event that has been celebrated for the last three years, around 30 antiriot police officers disrupted the event, attacking the participants and using force to move them out of the area. Trying to escape the attacks, many of the participants ran into the area's shopping centers, but they were followed and thrown out by the police officers.

A number of the activists were wounded, some more seriously than others, among them Alicia Parra, of the students' LGBT collective, who received 10 stitches in the back of the head and also suffered bruises.

Ruth Ramos, the MOHL president, confirmed that several formal complaints have been filed, one of them with the Ombudsman's Office.

IPYS believes that the activists' freedom of expression was violated since they were peacefully displaying their views in support of the rights of the LGBT community.

IPYS condemns this attack on freedom of assembly and freedom of expression and demands a thorough investigation into the incident.

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