Serbia is one step closer to gay pride parade

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) welcomes the decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to adopt an amendment by the Liberal Democratic Party on the Article 344a of the Criminal Code.

With this amendment Serbia has made a resolute step towards creating the conditions for holding a gay pride parade in 2010 in Belgrade.

Criminal Code will by this Amendment sanction those who threaten, use hate speech, attack or physically assault not only the participants of sports events, but also participants of all other public meetings with sentence of imprisonment from two to ten years.

In addition, these changes provide the sentence of imprisonment from three months to three years and a fine for official or responsible persons who in organizing sports events or public gatherings do not take precautions in order to prevent violent behavior, causing threat for life or body of larger number of people or property of greater value.

GSA believes that extending the range of this Article on all public gatherings and not only sport events not only significantly contributes to establishing an adequate legal framework for combating violence, but also consequently contributes to more efficient police work, prosecution and judiciary in prosecuting cases of violence.

Violence is, unfortunately, still deeply rooted social phenomenon in Serbia and all citizens are exposed to it but primarily members of minority groups.

Attempt to organize gay pride parade earlier this year clearly showed that LGBT persons are the most vulnerable group and that violence, threats of violence and impunity are priorities with which the state has to face and systematically solve.

Gay Straight Alliance will support all legislative proposals and initiatives that contribute to preventing and reducing violence, but expects from the state institutions and bodies to urgently use all legal measures to combat violence and to initiate and implement systemic and strategic solutions to this issue.

GSA Info Center