Belgrade Gay Pride March Is Banned

Belgrade Gay Pride March Banned

Belgrade Pride 2009 Organizing Committee would like to declare that, during the meeting with the Serbian Prime Minister today, they were issued an official decree signed by the Head of Serbian Police, Milorad Veljovic, which states that the public safety corps of the Republic of Serbia are not able to ensure the Constitutional right for a peaceful assembly on the Square in front of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade.

Even though the decree given by the Ministry of the Interior is written in the form of a recommendation for the change of location of the Pride March to the Belgrade estuary, or in front of the Palata Srbije, a government building and home of many state ministries, it is absolutely unmistakeable that the Pride March 2009 has been banned. Despite the declarations of support given by the highest representatives of the government, in which they exalt the freedom of any and all social groups, LGBT community included, to publicly manifest their demands, the government did not put money where its mouth is. There was no act to support the rhetoric.

This decree is a formal admittance of the government sections of the Republic of Serbia that they are not able to adequately prevent and sanction the threats coming from the clero-fascist organizations, nor are they able to ensure the constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens who publicly announced their legal assembly.

The Organizing Committee states that despite this ban of the Pride March, Serbian public has been given a clear answer to the question of equality in our society. This epilogue presents an obligation for all governmental and non-governmental structures, media, LGBT community, and above all, the Public Prosecutors and Judicial corps of Republic of Serbia, to form a strong platform of fight for attainment of LGBT human rights, which were taken away by this ban. The government must immediately and energetically prosecute persons and organizations which committed the criminal acts of calling for a lynch of an entire part of the Serbian population.

Now it is on the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to fulfil the promise given by the Prime Minister Cvetkovi? who said that, starting with Monday, September 21st, a strong communication with the LGBT organizations will be established. He also promised that a more positive atmosphere in the society will be created and all relevant security prerequisites will be fulfilled to ensure that the Pride March can be held at the same location where it is being held in the rest of the world – in the centre of the capital.

The State failed the fundamental test, the next exam period is approaching fast. The Republic of Serbia has capitulated, we have not.

Belgrade Pride 2009 Organizing Committee

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  1. This really wasn’t only about LGBT population: those tugs in ultra-rightist organizations are a manace to the entire society and it’s becoming a nightmare to be different…

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