Remembrance Day of the Dead is held on May 4 in the Netherlands to commemorate the victims of World War II, followed by Liberation Day to mark the end of the German occupation. On May 4, they also remember those who fought for freedom after the war as well.
Remembrance Day was observed in The Hague at a monument that symbolizes LGBTI people, anywhere in the world, persecuted or oppressed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, in the past and in the present.
At the beginning of the public event Mamikon Hovsepyan, Pink’s communications director, made a speech as an international guest.
Mamikon started his speech with the following: “As we come together to remember and pay tribute to those who have fought for our freedoms, we also recognize that there are still challenges and difficulties in the world.”
He reminded that although progress has been made in a number of European countries to protect the human rights of LGBTI people, it should be remembered that in some other countries LGBTI people still encounter difficulties in their ongoing struggle for equality.
Referring to the problems of Armenia, Mamikon spoke about the war started by Azerbaijan, which not only resulted in the loss of life and displacement of people but also exacerbated existing socio-economic issues.
In his speech, Mamikon also mentioned police brutalities, as well as the fact that the police refuse to investigate hate crime cases properly, LGBTI people are being double discriminated in police stations, and access to justice is an unattainable privilege․
At the end, he added: ” On this Remembrance Day, let us not only honor those who have fought for our freedoms but also commit to standing up for the rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We must stand up against discrimination, violence, hatred and work towards a world where everyone can live freely and without fear. Together, we can create a world where every person is valued and celebrated for who they are.”
After Mamikon Hovsepyan’s speech, the president of COC Haaglanden, Marion Tahapary, made remarks, and after, Mariëlle Vavier, deputy mayor of The Hague, also gave a speech. During her speech, the deputy mayor greeted Mamikon in Armenian and emphasized his work for the protection of the rights of queer people.
During the event, they honored the memory of the victims with a 2-minute silence, and at the end, the organizers and guests laid wreaths at the monument.