Serbia bans gay pride again
The last time Serbia’s LGBTI community attempted a gay pride march in 2010, the nation’s capital erupted in riots. This year activists planned to march over the weekend in Belgrade, however Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic banned the march from taking place, for the third consecutive year, citing threats to public safety.
After right wing hooligans threatened to disrupt the march if it were to go ahead, Dacic went on air on the state’s television network on Friday to ban Saturday’s planned march. The move was criticised by the EU.
"After a long discussion on whether the march would pass without severe consequences, the security assessments indicated severe threats to public safety," Dacic said. Adding: "This is not a capitulation to the hooligan.”
Despite the ban, around 200 gay activists descended upon Dacic’s government office waving rainbow flags and banners that read ‘This is Pride’. The activists then marched to parliament house accompanied by riot police.
Goran Miletic, a human rights activist and the organiser of the gay pride march told Reuters, "Tonight we exercised our right to gather peacefully, and I don't believe we bothered anyone in Serbia."
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said by banning the pride march Dacic had "missed an opportunity to show respect for fundamental human rights."