BRUSSELS, August 29, 2011–With prominent Serbian politicians questioning whether the police
should protect October’s Belgrade Gay Pride, the International Lesbian and
Gay Association – Europe (ILGA-Europe) has today called on the Serbian
authorities to provide the necessary protection and support for the event.
And ILGA-Europe expressed concern that some Serbian politicians are
questioning whether there should be police protection.
“These statements will endanger the safety of the event,” ILGA-Europe points
The statement goes on to say that the
Brussels-based NGO “welcomes the support of Belgrade Pride expressed by the
Serbian President Boris Tadic in June 2011.
“However, ILGA-Europe is concerned about the recent statements by Interior
Minister Ivica Dacic and other prominent politicians saying that the Pride
event should not take place because of the security risks.
Before 2010, Belgrade Pride had a history of violence and lack of support
from police and authorities. In 2001
the pride event ended in heavy violence. Then in 2009 the LGBTI community in
Serbia attempted to organise another pride event which was cancelled 24
hours before the event as the authorities could not promise to protect the
Last year, for the first time ever, a successful pride event took place with
heavy police protection. However,
counter demonstrations were organised by around 6000 hooligans and members
of right wing organisations. They clashed with the police, injured about 150
policemen and caused hundreds of thousands of Euros damage.
ILGA-Europe is urging the Serbian authorities and police to be consistent in
their commitment to human rights and provide the necessary protection and
support to Belgrade Pride 2011.
“I was in Belgrade in 2010, and was happy to acknowledge that the Serbian
police did their job very well and protected the participants from the
violent counter demonstrators,” said Linda Freimane, co-chair of
ILGA-Europe’s executive board
“I can only hope that the statements from Serbian politicians do not change
this, so participants can feel secure when they are marching on October 2.”
Martin K.I. Christensen, the other co-chair, continued: “The Serbian
authorities should prove that they are genuinely committed to human rights
of LGBTI people.
“They can do this by making sure that Belgrade Pride 2011 is fully protected
and have their support.”
■ Belgrade Gay Pride is set for Sunday October 2.
Belgrade Pride Unaffected as Anti-Gay Protesters Battle Against Police.
By Andy Harley in Belgrade. There was tight security
at Belgrade Pride today – the first since 2001 which saw participants
violently attacked by far-right homophobic elements.And the result today was that Gay Pride went ahead peacefully, with
some 1,000 taking part in the march through a small part of the centre of
the Serbian capital. However, there were violent clashes elsewhere in the
city. (UK Gay News, October 10, 2010)
Gay American Avoids Belgrade Thugs in City Street. The chairperson of InterPride’s committee on International LGBTI
Human and Civil Rights spoke today of how he was followed on the
streets of central Belgrade yesterday evening and how it brought
home to him just how Serbian society had to live “in a constant
state of fear of thugs”. Openly gay William Urich, who was
attending Belgrade Pride as an official “observer” for InterPride,
told UK Gay News that he decided to go out and explore the
downtown area around 6pm. (UK Gay News, September 21, 2009)
Belgrade Gay Pride Off, But Sweden Hosts ‘Mini-Pride’ at Ambassador’s Residence. There was not a gay person,
let alone a banner, in sight in the square in front of
the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade city centre at
lunchtime on Sunday. The Gay Pride Parade had been
banned by officialdom, or cancelled by the organisers,
depending on which ‘spin’ one subscribes to.
(UK Gay News, September 21, 2009)
Belgrade Gay Pride Cancelled 24 Hours Before Event
Because of “Security Concerns”. Nikolai Baev, a co-organiser of Moscow Pride,
arrived in Belgrade at lunchtime looking forward
to taking part in his very first Pride march.
But when he got to his hotel his excitement turned
to sorrow when he learned that tomorrow’s Belgrade
Pride march had been suddenly cancelled by the
organisers when the Serbian Government announced
this morning that the parade in the city centre
could not go ahead but offered an alternative
location in the suburbs. (UK Gay News,
September 19, 2009)
Gay March Plan Tests Serb Feelings.
By Mark Lowen. A
gay parade planned to take place in Belgrade on Sunday has been
cancelled, due to security concerns (BBC News, September 19, 2009)