Attacks on Sexual Minority Groups

July 2, 2001

2 July 2001 – The Belgrade Center for Human rights harshly condemns the attacks on citizens of homosexual and lesbian orientation who peacefully assembled in Belgrade on the 30th of June to celebrate International Gay and Lesbian Pride Day. The Belgrade Center for Human Rights expresses its concern over the extremely violent and intolerant attitude of one section of our society towards members of sexual minorities, and also its concern over the fact that the police did not fulfil their duty to protect groups which were performing their right to peaceful assembly. The fifty police officers dispatched by the Secretariat for Internal Affairs were not enough to protect the participants of this event. Although a gathering can unsettle groups opposed to those who have gathered, participants in public gatherings must be allowed to gather without fear of physical violence. The State has a duty to undertake reasonable appropriate measures to ensure that lawful demonstrations can take place peacefully.

The Belgrade Center demands that the relevant bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs carry out the necessary proceedings so those who attacked these sexual minority groups are punished.