Belgrade, Sep 13 (EFE).- Serbian police have banned the Europride parade that was scheduled to take place in Belgrade on September 17, the country’s interior ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry justified the decision with security concerns over an anti-globalist march set to take place at the same time.
“It has been assessed that there is a risk of attacks and confrontations, there is a risk of violence, destruction of property and other forms of threat to the public order of great magnitude,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
Interior minister Aleksandar Vulin added that possible clashes would put those taking part in the marches, as well as other citizens, in danger.
The organizers of the parade celebrating the LGBT community condemned Serbia’s political leadership for canceling the event, calling it a “total failure.”
“We are working with the @BelgradePride team on alternative solutions,” the European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA) added in a Twitter post.
EPOA chief Kristine Garina added that banning pride parades is “anti-constitutional.”
“It’s been ruled by the Serbian court several times. The ban will be appealed in court and will be overturned,” she tweeted.
According to Garina, thousands of LGBT people, as well as their friends, will gather in Belgrade on Saturday, despite the ban.
Belgrade Europride week kicked off on Monday by hoisting the rainbow flag outside Serbian government headquarters. It will end on Sunday with more than 130 concerts, human rights conferences and exhibitions, among other events across the Serbian capital.
Belgrade was chosen by EPOA three years ago to host Europride 2022, to be the first city in Southeast Europe to do so.
In recent weeks, traditionalists, right-wing extremists and members of the Serbian Orthodox Church have taken to the streets to protest the event.EFE