Slovenian LGBT NGOs critical of Serbia’s ban on EuroPride
Ljubljana – LGBT organisations in Slovenia expressed their disappointment and concerns over Serbia’s recent decision to ban the EuroPride march that was supposed to take place in Belgrade this year. This shows the negligence by the current Serbian government in its treatment of social minorities, they said.
EuroPride, the pan-European gathering of the LGBT community, started in Belgrade on Monday, and the march was supposed to be held on Saturday.
Six Slovenian organisations, including LGBT rights advocacy group Legebitra, Ljubljana Pride Association and Transakcija, an organisation dedicated to transgender rights, called on “all those in positions of political power in Slovenia, Serbia and the European Union to stand up against the systematic violation of human rights in Serbia and to do everything in their power to protect LGBT individuals and other groups” that face populist policies of exclusion and disrespect for the human dignity.
Expressing their full support for EuroPride organisers, the organisations are especially critical of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who, they said, participates in human rights violations despite being an out lesbian.
They believe the ban that comes at a late notice was planned in advance, as Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić had talked about it weeks before.
“The [Serbian] government had supported the organisation of EuroPride in Belgrade before this, but this support was clearly false. Banning the march, the government used old, tried and tested populist tactics of diverting attention,” reads Wednesday’s press release.
“The reason for the ban is said to be escalations in Kosovo, which is naturally just a smokescreen to conceal the real reasons: deep-seated homo- and transphobia by Serbian politics”, in addition also driven by the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The EuroPride organisers said they would go ahead with the march and hold all related events between 12 and 18 September before the Serbian authorities announced the ban on Tuesday citing public safety.
EuroPride has been held in a different European capital every year since 1992, and this would have been Serbia’s first time hosting the event.
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