© Amnesty International

Serbia: Authorities must repeal “shameful” ban on Euro Pride walk

Ahead of tomorrow’s planned Euro Pride walk in Belgrade which has been banned by Serbian authorities, Eve Geddie, Amnesty International’s Director at the European Institutions Office said:

“The decision by Serbian authorities to ban Euro Pride for purported security reasons is shameful. Instead of giving in to hateful rhetoric towards and threats against LGBTI people, authorities must take all necessary measures to provide adequate protection for the participants and enable them to enjoy their rights without fear of harassment, intimidation or violence.  

The decision by Serbian authorities to ban Euro Pride for purported security reasons is shameful. Instead of giving in to hateful rhetoric towards and threats against LGBTI people, authorities must take all necessary measures to provide adequate protection for the participants and enable them to enjoy their rights without fear of harassment, intimidation or violence.  

Eve Geddie, Amnesty International’s Director at the European Institutions Office

“By allowing the walk to proceed, Serbia will cement its place as the first country in the Western Balkans to host Euro Pride in a region where LGBTI people experience daily discrimination and frequent violence. The authorities should lift the ban and allow the Euro Pride walk to go ahead unhindered.”

Background

In 2020, Belgrade nominated itself to host the Euro Pride. However, in August 2022, President Aleksandar Vučić, announced that the Pride walk would not be allowed to proceed. Organizers have said that the walk will take place despite the ban.

On 10 September, President Vučić said that the Ministry of Interior would make a decision 96 hours before the planned event. 

On 13 September, the Ministry of Interior decided that neither the Pride walk, nor a planned counterprotest, could go ahead citing security issues, including “danger of violence, destruction of property, and other forms of disruption of public order on a larger scale”.

On 14 September, the organizers filed a complaint to the Administrative Court requesting it to overturn the Ministry’s decision. This is still pending.

Earlier today, organizers submitted another formal request to the Ministry of Interior with a proposed shorter route for the walk. This was supported by 27,000 signatures. They are awaiting a decision from the authorities on their request. 

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