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In Belgrade, LGBTQ activists march for Europride regardless of the ban

The LGBTQ neighborhood gathered on Saturday, September 17 in Belgrade (Serbia) within the afternoon, underneath heavy police safety. And this regardless of the ban by the authorities.

The parade, imagined to be the excessive level of this pan-European occasion which takes place every year in a distinct metropolis, happened with out notable incident. However based on native media, clashes pitted counter-protesters in opposition to police. The Serbian Inside Ministry had banned it earlier this week, citing safety issues as far-right teams threatened to stage their very own protests.

LGBT activists throughout Europride in Belgrade, September 17, 2022 | AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

I have been to a number of Prides however this one is barely extra tense than the othersYasmin Benoit, mannequin and activist advised AFP in entrance of the Constitutional Council, the place of the rally. I am from the UK the place everyone seems to be extra supportive. We’re combating for the way forward for this nation underlined for his half Luka, a Serbian demonstrator who didn’t want to give his final identify.

It was nonetheless unclear whether or not protesters could be allowed to proceed as that they had deliberate to a close-by park, with Inside Minister Aleksandar Vulin warning in opposition to any illegal march.

31 arrests

Regardless of the ban, the demonstrators had been in a position to stroll a number of hundred meters within the rain, between the Constitutional Council and a close-by park, a a lot shorter route in comparison with the Pleasure march initially deliberate.

Massive riot police had been deployed across the rally and repelled small teams of counter-protesters brandishing crosses and spiritual insignia, based on AFP journalists.

LGBT activists kiss in Belgrade, throughout Europride, September 17, 2022. | AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

The Inside Ministry had additionally banned all counter-demonstrations, however in far-right discussion groups, customers had promised to protest in opposition to the Pleasure.

In accordance with the ministry, 31 folks had been arrested. The authorities didn’t specify who it was, however AFP journalists noticed a number of counter-protesters being arrested.

Worldwide stress in opposition to the ban on the parade

The march ban had prompted consternation amongst rights NGOs. It is a shameful give up, and the implicit consecration of intolerance and threats of illegal violencebased on Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch.

Belgrade has been the topic of intense worldwide stress – greater than 20 embassies, together with these of the USA, France, Germany or Japan, having known as on it in a joint assertion to reverse its resolution.

Serbia has been a candidate for membership of the European Union for a decade however member states have through the years raised issues about its rights report.

An ingrained homophobia

Gay marriage is just not authorized on this nation of lower than seven million inhabitants, the place homophobia is deeply rooted regardless of some progress in opposition to discrimination.

The Pleasure marches of 2001 and 2010 had been focused by the far proper and marred by violence. Since 2014, the Pleasure has been held with out notable incident however underneath sturdy police safety.

Final weekend, 1000’s of individuals, motorbike gangs, Orthodox monks and far-right nationalists, took to the streets to demand the cancellation of the parade.

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