Serbian Pride banned for second yearAround the World Thursday, October 11th, 2012
BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbian police have banned a Gay Pride march in Belgrade for the second year running. The police cited security concerns and compliance with a request from Serbia’s Christian Orthodox Church.
AP reported that police feared a repeat of the violence that flared in 2010 when right-wing groups attacked a Gay Pride march.
“Based on all security estimates and recommendations, the interior ministry made the decision that it is necessary to ban all gatherings announced for Oct. 6, including the Pride march, for the sake of citizens’ safety,” Prime Minister and police chief Ivica Dacic said in a statement received by AFP.
According to Amnesty International, the decision by Dacic to ban Belgrade’s Pride march for the second year in a row puts the country in breach of its own law and Constitution.
“By banning the 2012 Belgrade Pride, Serbia’s government is effectively going against its own legal and constitutional protections for basic rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Serbia,” said Amnesty International’s John Dalhuisen, director of the Europe and Central Asia Program.
The ban follows pressure from Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia’s Christian Orthodox Church, politicians from the ruling coalition and extremist organizations, who had all intervened urging the Pride parade be outlawed. In a statement Patriarch Irinej said, such a “parade of shame” would cast a “moral shadow” on Serbia.
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