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Serbia: Authorities to allow first Pride march since 2010

Aaron Day September 26, 2014

Authorities in Serbia haven given a conditional greenlight to the country’s first Pride march since 2010, after being officially banned each consecutive year due to threats of violence.

The event, which often leads to confrontations between anti-gay groups, police and marchers, was marred in 2010 by violent stand-offs, and around 100 people were injured at the event, as extremists threw petrol bombs at the police and gay rights activists.

The event has been cancelled every year since, with the 2011,2012 and 2013 parades all being banned by authorities over fears of violence

Now, according to Reuters, the EU says the reintroduction of the event could stand as a test of the Balkan country’s integrity towards fundamental human rights as it pursues membership talks.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said authorities had decided not to ban the march – which will take place on Sunday – but still reserved the right to do so if the threat to security was too great. Thousands of police are expected to secure the event.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a news conference: “I respect the constitutional obligations of the state and my obligation to guarantee the safety and security of all people.”

However, he added: “It is my democratic right not to participate in Pride, nor do I have any intention of doing so.”

In June, Belgrade Pride broke the annual cycle of cancelled Pride events after being cancelled due to flooding rather than violence.

More: balkan, EU, Serbia, Yugoslavia

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