European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

ILGA-Europe condemns the decision of Serbian authorities to ban Belgrade Pride

ILGA-Europe strongly condemns the decision of the Serbian authorities to ban Belgrade Pride events and Pride March which were scheduled to take place this weekend. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, also expressed his disappointment.

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of the Executive Board ILGA-Europe, said:

“We are deeply disappointed at this decision. No one argues that this event unfortunately attracts violent protesters. However, it is a State duty to provide protection to everyone who wants to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful demonstration. This is not the first time the Serbian authorities have used ‘security threats’ as an argument to cancel Pride March. Frankly speaking we consider this an excuse for the lack of political will to ensure the human rights of LGBTI citizens.

Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of the Executive Board ILGA-Europe, added:

“We call on the Serbian authorities to change their decision and to ensure that the Pride event goes ahead properly protected. We believe the Serbian state has sufficient resources to ensure the safety of the Pride participants and to prevent the hooligans whose intent is violence and disobedience of law and order from causing harm. We now want to see their political will and commitment. ”

Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, stated on his website:

“I am surprised and disappointed that the Belgrade Pride event has been banned again. Citizens should be able to exercise their rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Serbia should be in a position to safeguard such an event, which is commonplace is modern democracies.” View his statement.