An attack on an LGBT centre in Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, has been condemned by Members of the European Parliament, and they have also criticised the cancellation of a Pride parade following safety concerns.

The attack took place on Saturday as people inside the centre were watching a movie.

The centre had already been targeted earlier this year, but without anyone inside.

Richard Howitt MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur and member of the LGBT Intergroup, said: “This targeted attack against the LGBT community in Skopje must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all.”

A Pride march planned for Saturday also had to be cancelled because Macedonia’s Ministry of Interior could not guaranteed marchers’ security.

Mr Howitt added: “I pay credit to the organisers of Skopje’s Pride Week, who I’m sure will stand strong against this intimidation. I say again today that LGBT rights are human rights, and must be respected.”

Marije Cornelissen MEP, member of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “This incident shows again that homophobia is still deep-seated in Macedonia. I am especially disappointed in the government for not immediately condemning the violence. They need to show univocal support and take strong action for LGBT rights, instead of only paying half-hearted lip-service when called upon.”

MEPs expressed concern over an increase in homophobic incidents in Macedonia last October.