Swedish minister to speak at Belgrade Pride event

Sweden's Minister for European Union Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson will be a key speaker at the Belgrade Pride 2013 event while on her official visit to Serbia.

Source: Tanjug
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This was announced by Swedish embassy in Belgrade, Tanjug has reported.

During her visit, Ohlsson will have meetings with Serbian ministers, representatives of civil society and will visit the Roma families in Belgrade that received assistance through development aid programs of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Belgrade Pride Parade on September 28.

"I hope that it will be possible to hold the Belgrade Pride Parade in a peaceful and safe manner this year," Ohlsson said. Pride Parades are an important litmus tests showing whether a country respects the principles of democracy and freedoms of assembly and speech, she added.

The statement said that a Pride Parade was last held in Serbia in 2010, when the participants in the event and the police were subjected to attacks by right-wing extremists, adding that last year, Minister Ohlsson traveled to Belgrade to take part in a pride event but it was cancelled by the competent authorities at the last minute.

A country that is a candidate for membership of the European Union, such as Serbia, must demonstrate that the human rights of the LGBT community are respected, the release said.

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