Canadians defy death threats to celebrate Pride in Mauritius

Pop Goes The News – A group of Canadians are among those planning to take part in the first ever Pride celebration in Mauritius despite threats of violence.

Police in Port Louis, the capital of the island nation in the Indian Ocean, cited “national security” concerns for banning a parade scheduled for Saturday. 

But organizers said early Friday they still plan to gather for celebrations and are “working with the police” to address security concerns.

Organizers of Pride Inter-Iles de l’Océan Indien 2018 said despite receiving death threats, they will “defend the freedom of expression and the freedom to exist.”

Among those taking part are Montreal’s Liliane Burnett – who is the event’s “Marraine d’Honneur” – and her son, Montreal journalist Richard Burnett. They’re in Mauritius with friends Buck Derooy of Toronto and Louis Michel of Montreal.

Pride Inter-Iles de l’Océan Indien 2018 had hoped to unite members of the LGBTQ communities and their allies from Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion and Madagascar.

The majority of Mauritius’ citizens are Hindu or Muslim. The country is governed by the Militant Socialist Movement.