Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Kiev says Russian troops have entered Ukraine

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

Europe

Serbia bans Gay Pride for third consecutive year

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-28

Serbia’s government has banned a gay pride march for the third year in a row over "security" concerns, in a move that has prompted protests by activists and drawn EU criticism.

Serbia’s government banned a weekend gay pride march for the third consecutive year on Friday, citing the threat of violence from right-wing hooligans, in a move that sparked protests by gay activists and criticism from the European Union.

Denying that the government had given in to right-wing threats, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said on state television that the ban on Saturday’s event was a public safety matter. The last gay pride march in 2010 triggered a day of rioting and arson by nationalists in the capital Belgrade.

“After a long discussion on whether the march would pass without severe consequences, the security assessments indicated severe threats to public safety,” Dacic said after a three-hour meeting with security chiefs.

“This is not a capitulation to the hooligans,” he said.

But as night fell, around 200 gay activists waving rainbow flags and banners that read “This is Pride” gathered outside Dacic’s government office before walking to parliament flanked by riot police.

They chanted “This is Serbia” and “We have pride”.

“Tonight we exercised our right to gather peacefully, and I don’t believe we bothered anyone in Serbia,” said Goran Miletic, a human rights activist and the organiser of the gay pride march.

Western ambassadors had pressured Serbia to allow this year’s event to go ahead, as a litmus test of the Balkan country’s commitment to tolerance and diversity.

The United States embassy issued a statement saying it was “very disappointed” by the ban and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said it marked “a missed opportunity to show respect for fundamental human rights.”

The EU is expected to launch membership talks with the former Yugoslav republic in January.

There is widespread intolerance of gay rights in conservative societies across the Balkans, where religious leaders routinely condemn homosexuality as a threat to traditional family values.

Riot police had fanned out through downtown Belgrade on Friday evening in anticipation of Saturday’s march, and Serbian media reports said before the ban that more than 6,000 officers would be deployed to maintain order with a string of anti-gay demonstrations announced.

Speaking before the evening protest, Miletic said of the ban: “Everyone’s a loser here, except the hooligans who for the third consecutive year proved they can tell that state what it can and cannot do.”

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-09-28

  • SERBIA

    Ban on gay pride parade a 'dark day for human rights'

    Read more

  • SERBIA

    Far-right supporters clash with police at Gay Pride in Belgrade

    Read more

COMMENT(S)