Statement by Short Waves Festival on the incidence of homophobic hate crime
SEARCHING FOR EYEWITNESSES & STATEMENT
by Short Waves Festival on the incidence of homophobic hate crime
Merely two weeks ago we have published a memo on creating a festival free from hate, openly speaking about a zero tolerance policy against any acts of discrimination. We hoped that thanks to this declaration, Short Waves Festival will be an open, friendly, safe and comfortable space for all attendees and that particularly our guests will remember Poznań as a city where anyone can feel at home. Unfortunately, with our hearts breaking, we are forced to bring to public attention an incidence that has occurred during the festival and thus we are asking for your help. We also want to express solidarity with all of the people that recently became victims of any kind of aggression or hate based on homophobia.
On Thursday, August 20th at 17:34, on the corner of Piekary and Św. Marcin streets in Poznań, one of our international guests was attacked. He was calmly strolling along the street, when suddenly a young man walking behind him with a group of friends, rushed towards him and kicked him in the back from behind with his foot held high in the air. After the physical assault, he began to shout at our guest in a pugnacious manner, speaking in Polish language. While pointing at his clothes, he was loudly commenting on his appearance, using pejorative words. There is absolutely no doubt that both physical and then verbal attacks were bias-related manifestations of violence based on homophobic grounds. As a festival community we are deeply shocked and appalled with the situation.
Aforementioned occurrence was reported to the local authorities, CCTV recordings are undergoing thorough verification. On behalf of the whole festival community and our guest, respecting his right to stay anonymous, we urge anyone who could witness said event, to reach our Festival Director Emilia Mazik (firstname.lastname@example.org) and give testimony in order to help establish the perpetrator or perpetrators. According to our guest, we are aware of at least two individuals that have potentially eye-witnessed the incidence. We are specifically looking for a gentleman who despite talking on his phone, approached our guest directly after the event and provided him support and assistance before he entered the hotel. Even one additional report could speed up the resolving of this case.
We are grateful in advance for your support with dissemination of information.
Short Waves Festival Team