The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) is expressing grave concern at the banning of Belgrade Pride 2012.
On Wednesday October 3rd, Ministry of Interior Affairs of Serbia stated that on the basis of all security assessments and recommendations, it decided to ban all gatherings scheduled for October 6th in order to preserve the peace and security of citizens and their property.
Reacting to the ban, Vladimir Veljkovic from Belgrade, Serbia, member of the IGLYO Board, commented:
“It is shameful that state authorities of Serbia banned the Belgrade Pride march for the third time – second time in a row. Politicians and juridical system of Serbia are directly responsible for depriving their citizens of freedom of assembly, while at the same time extremist groups still operate freely. Many cases of LGBTQI persons’ human rights violations remain unreported or without adequate treatment, despite the legislation that recognises and directly refers to sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds from discrimination. This is due to the atmosphere created by the non-effective juridical system that does not prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations. It is clear that every sovereign state should be able to provide protection for people who exercise their rights. Successful pride march in 2010 showd that it is possible when there is a will to do it.”
IGLYO notes that threats have been made to Belgrade Pride 2012. These threats go against Serbian law and the Serbian constitution. Belgrade Pride 2011 was banned on the grounds of threats from extremist groups, yet few prosecutions have come from this.
IGLYO urges the Serbian authorities to change this decision. We believe that citizens should be able to exercise their rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, under which Serbia has an international obligation to guarantee.
The Serbian Police and Government have a duty to protect all citizens in exercising their constitutional right to peaceful demonstration. IGLYO hopes the Serbian police will investigate all threats, and to ensure they are thoroughly looked into and that those responsible are brought to justice.
As an official candidate of the European Union, Serbia would have obligations to protect the human rights of LGBTQI people. IGLYO awaits the accession report on Serbia due in November, and we hope this will address LGBTQI rights.
We stand in solidarity with those who are organising Belgrade Pride, as well as all LGBTQI people in Serbia and admires their continuing efforts to secure their rights.
For more information please contact our Communications Officer, Patrick Dempsey – firstname.lastname@example.org