Pride in Belgrade Banned

The National Security Council of the Serbian Parliament (Savet za nacionalnu bezbednost) has banned all public manifestations during the weekend, including Pride, on the grounds of national security. The Council consists of the President of Serbia, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior and some of the highest leaders of the army and security services.

The Pride organisers have gathered to discuss what should be the next step.

Earlier the same day the Mayor of Belgrade, Dragan Djilas, called on the organisers to cancel planned activities, through a statement in the media. The news came as a shock for the organisers who immediately responded that the parade and other events will be held as planned.

“We are not calling off the parade. The mayor Djilas statement is completely shocking, he equates the Pride Parade and counter-demonstrations organised by violent perpetrators. Last year, these counter-demonstrators engaged in violence and their leaders were also convicted for the incidents,” said Goran Miletic, Program Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders, and one of the organisers of Pride in Belgrade, in a statement on the news site B92.

Civil Rights Defenders has previously urged Mayor Djilas to show his full support for the Pride Parade in Belgrade. We said in a letter that the right to peaceful assembly is for all people and it is guaranteed by Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is the Serbian government’s obligation to respect and protect that right.