Serbia bans Europride parade in Belgrade

Dhe Serbian Interior Ministry announced the Europride parade planned for next Saturday in the Serbian capital Belgrade prohibited. There is a high risk that the safety of the participants and other citizens cannot be guaranteed, the state news agency Tanjug reported, citing the ministry. Further details were not disclosed.

Pride parades, in which participants demonstrate for the rights of homosexuals and other members of the LGBTIQ* community, have been held in Belgrade since 2014 without incident. Barely a month ago, however, Serbia's powerful president had Aleksandar Vucic stated that this year's Pride had to be canceled or postponed for security reasons.

Vucic justified this with the tense situation in neighboring Kosovo, which used to be closed Serbia owned and has been independent since 2008. Serbia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo, which is now almost exclusively inhabited by Albanians. After road blockades by ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo at the beginning of August, however, the situation calmed down again.

Europride coordinator Goran Miletic said Tuesday evening in Belgrade that the parade will take place despite the decision of the Interior Ministry. The organizers would appeal against the decision. If the complaint is not upheld, they will take legal action.

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