Govt. called upon to ensure safety of Pride Parade

BELGRADE -- The Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) director said in a letter to Serbian PM and IM he hoped promises would be kept regarding safety at the forthcoming gay parade.

“Civil Rights Defenders will actively participate in the Pride Parade and oversee conduct of the Serbian state authorities during preparation of the Pride Parade,” CRD Executive Director Robert Hardh said.

“We welcome positive steps taken by the Serbian authorities, as well as the promises given by MUP (Serbian police). Because of all this we expect that all given promises will be put into effect,” the CRD director pointed out.

Hardh says that such approach is encouraging, especially considering brutal attacks on the participants of the parade in 2001 and the authorities’ refusal to provide security to Pride Parade in 2009.

“That is why we demand from the police to guarantee full safety to participants and we expect that enough resources for this purpose will be provided. We once again stress that it is the state’s full obligation to ensure full respect of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly,” it is emphasized in the announcement.

“The upcoming Pride Parade in Belgrade is another opportunity for the authorities in Serbia to show that they are willing and capable of protecting their citizens who belong to the LGBT community,” the CRD director concluded.