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in Belgrade, 1000’s of LGBTQ + activists march regardless of the ban

They’d warned that they might defy the ban. Hundreds of members of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood marched on Saturday September 17 in Belgrade, beneath excessive police safety, regardless of the cancellation of the Europride march by the authorities.

The parade itself, purported to be the excessive level of this pan-European occasion which takes place every year in a distinct metropolis, handed off with out notable incident. However in keeping with native media, clashes pitted the police in opposition to counter-demonstrators.

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Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, an open lesbian, introduced that 64 folks had been arrested and 10 cops injured on Saturday, whereas stressing that she was “proud” that the day is over “with out severe incident”.

The Serbian Inside Ministry had banned the march on Tuesday, citing safety issues, as far-right teams threatened to stage their very own protests after a collection of counter-Satisfaction within the capital.

The demonstrators have been however capable of journey just a few hundred meters within the rain, between the Constitutional Council and a close-by park, a a lot shorter journey than the Satisfaction march initially deliberate. Inside Minister Aleksandar Vulin assured that the ban had been carried out, and that it was folks “escorted to a live performance”.

Identical-sex marriage banned in Serbia

Massive riot police had been deployed across the rally and repelled small teams of counter-demonstrators brandishing crosses and spiritual insignia, in keeping with journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP). The House Workplace had additionally banned counter-demonstrations, however customers in far-right chat rooms had promised to protest Satisfaction.

In keeping with the N1 tv channel, scuffles occurred between police and counter-demonstrators, the latter throwing smoke bombs on the police, a number of of whose automobiles have been broken. AFP journalists noticed a number of counter-demonstrators being arrested.

A large police force had been deployed along the pride march, initially prohibited by the authorities.  In Belgrade, September 17, 2022.
Counter-protesters gathered in front of an Orthodox church during the Europride march in Belgrade on September 17, 2022.

Marriage between folks of the identical intercourse shouldn’t be authorized on this Balkan nation of lower than 7 million inhabitants, the place homophobia is deeply rooted regardless of some progress in opposition to discrimination. “It is about far more than a homosexual satisfaction. We’re preventing for the way forward for this nation”summarized Luka Mazzanti Jovicevic, a Serbian protester.

“I’ve been to a number of Satisfaction however this one is barely extra disturbing than the others”stated Yasmin Benoit, mannequin and activist. “I am from the UK, the place everyone seems to be extra supportive and it is extra business (…). However right here, that is actually what a Satisfaction ought to be »she added, in reference to the societal struggle on the origins of the motion.

Worldwide pressures

The march ban had triggered consternation amongst rights NGOs. It is a “shameful give up, and implicit consecration of intolerance and threats of illegal violence”in keeping with Graeme Reid, director of the LGBTQ+ rights program at Human Rights Watch.

Serbia has been the topic of intense worldwide stress: greater than 20 embassies, together with these of the US, France, Germany and Japan, had known as on it in a joint assertion to rethink its determination.

Serbia has been a candidate for EU membership for a decade, however member states have raised issues over its human rights document through the years. A minimum of fifteen members of the European Parliament took half within the Satisfaction on Saturday to point out their solidarity.

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

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

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The World with AFP

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