Board of security supports Pride Parade

Members of the parliamentary Board of defence and security have given their support to holding the Pride Parade in Belgrade and announced that the state will do everything to ensure safety at the event.

“Serbia is on the test here and we must not allow some minority extremist groups, which certainly do not share the attitudes of the majority of Serbian citizens towards the questions you raise, to gain victory this time. But it is clear to both you and us that those groups are not controlled by the police, nor the national security or members of the parliament”, said the chairman of the Board Dušan Bajatović at the meeting between members of the Board of defence and security and representatives of Gay Straight Alliance and Queeria Center, which was held in the parliament.

“You have only asked that the Consitution and the law be respected”, Bajatović said at the meeting which was not attended by representatives of the opposition, except briefly by MP for the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS).

He added that the extremist groups will have their activities, but that this time it is up to government bodies to fully ensure safety at the event.

Bajatović emphasised that the government, as well as a major part of the opposition, support organising the Pride Parade.

Board member, MP for DS Konstantin Samofalov, expressed his certainty that Serbia would show it is a democratic and civilised society.

MP for Socialdemocratic Party of Serbia (SDP) Meho Omerović stated that the country is “on a test” and that a message needs to be sent to the citizens that extremists and violent opponents will be stopped in their tries to endanger the event “for they cannot be stronger than the country”.

Representatives of Gay Straight Alliance and Queeria Center stated that Pride Parade needs to be successful this time, which means that the safety of the participants needs to be ensured to the fullest.

Mirjana Bogdanović from Gay Straight Alliance said that violence and discrimination towards the LGBT population must not be the means of fighting those who think differently.

She added that Belgrade ought to have a successful and secure parade like those held in European cities, and that the last year’s scenario must not happen again, when the parade was cancelled due to security reasons.

“We feel that this year Pride Parade can and must be successful, which means that it must be completely safe”, said Bogdanović.

She emphasised that the campaign for a successful and secure parade this year began on time, and that meetings were held with all important government and political factors, which have so far been satisfactory.

Representative of Queeria Center Boban Stojanović said that a succesful Parade would improve the image of Serbia in Europe, as well as in the world.

Lazar Pavlović from Gay Straight Alliance made a request that the parliamentary board organise within itself a work group which would deal with the security questions of the event.

Bajatović, however, said that this was not possible for technical reasons, because the encounter with the representatives of Gay Straight Alliance had the form of a meeting, and not a session of the Board, at which this question could be raised.

Members of the Board therefore agreed that one of them should be in the Pride Parade work group, and the representative chosen for this was Marko Đurišić from DS.

GSA Info Center
Queeria Center

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