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Startseite Urgent Actions 2012 10 Possible ban for 2012 Belgrade Pride march
UA 294/12
Abgeschlossen am 4. Oktober 2012

Possible ban for 2012 Belgrade Pride march

AI-Index: EUR 70/019/2012

There are concerns that the 2012 Belgrade Pride march in Serbia to be held on 6 October may be banned because of security threats. This would deny the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

The 2012 Belgrade Pride march is scheduled to take place on 6 October. The organizers have asked the Serbian Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Ivica Dačić, and other relevant ministries for their cooperation in ensuring that the event takes place. In public statements, Ivica Dačić has focused on the security risks associated with the march. He has stated that the government will allow the Pride march to go ahead, depending on the Ministry of Interior’s assessment of the security risks. There are particular concerns that Ivica Dačić has stated that the Pride march is a security matter only, and not a matter of human rights. Ivica Dačić’s decision on whether the Pride will take place will reportedly be made on 4 October.

If the 2012 Belgrade Pride march is banned, this will effectively violate the right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly of LGBT activists and individuals in Serbia.

Additional Information

Serbian authorities banned the Belgrade Pride march in 2011 on account of reported security threats, and on the basis of the violence of the counter-demonstrations against the 2010 Pride march. The Serbian authorities provided adequate protection to Pride participants in 2010, with the deployment of 5,000 police officers facing more than 6,000 counter-demonstrators.

From first-hand experience of participation in Belgrade Pride 2010, Amnesty International is well aware of the problems faced at that time by the Ministry of Interior in addressing the security challenges posed by the threats from and actions of right wing groups. However, the organization notes that of those arrested in 2010, few of those allegedly responsible for the violence or for issuing threats to the organizers and supporters of the Pride have been brought to justice. Even fewer investigations and prosecutions took place following the banning of the 2011 Pride, on the grounds of reported security threats.

Amnesty International considers that the Serbian government cannot reduce respect for freedom of assembly of LGBT groups and individuals solely to a security issue. By banning the Pride march, the Serbian government would again fail to fulfill its international obligation to guarantee the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to LGBT groups and individuals, without discrimination.

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