Sarajevo: Eight Injured in Attack on Queer Festival
A homophobic mob has attacked participants in a gay festival in Bosnia.
People were dragged from cars and others were beaten in the streets of Sarajevo last night by hooded youths chanting Allahu akbar (God is Greatest), reports Reuters.
A much larger group of fascist protesters threw stones at people arriving at the opening event of the festival at Sarajevo’s Art Academy.
The police said one of their officers and two local journalists were among at least eight people injured.
Three of the mob were arrested.
Police had dispersed large crowds of protesters but they reportedly hid in side streets and attacked people as they left the event.
Reuters reported that a Danish national was seriously injured.
The Sarajevo Queer Festival has angered some Muslims in the country as it coincides with Ramadan, a month-long religious observance.
Croat and Serb leaders also expressed their displeasure at gay people holding such an event.
The Festival, the first of its kind in the country, began yesterday and ends on September 27th.
Posters appeared on the streets of Sarajevo earlier this month proclaiming “Death To Gays” and imams have spoken out, claiming that homosexuality is immoral and contrary to the Koran.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential candidate country for EU membership.
If admitted it would have the largest Muslim community of any member state.
The adherents of the Wahhabi sect make up a small section of Muslims in Bosnia.
Recent figures indicate that 40% of the population are Muslims, 31% are Orthodox Christians and 15% are Roman Catholics.
There is an equal age of consent but discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is “widespread” according to the EU.