Urgently investigate and bring to light the true motives for the attack on German citizens

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) most severely condemns the assault against German citizens D.M. (18) and underaged P.M. which happened yesterday on Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade.

GSA is pleased with the quick reaction of the police, who a few hours after the attack apprehended Kristijan Živanović (18), suspect to have physically assaulted the young men, taken their personal possessions and then stabbed D.M. with a knife causing him severe injuries.

However, that which GSA is especially concerned about is the information reported in numerous media relating to the motives for this attack, where the arrested Živanović has allegedly stated during interrogation at the police station that the reason for attacking the German citizens was that they ’seemed to be members of the gay population’, as well as that Živanović is also a member of numerous forums and Facebook groups which call for violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and for stopping the Pride Parade.

After this information was published, Gay Straight Alliance received calls from a number of members of the GLBT community in Serbia reacting to this incident with questions whether – for the police and the judicial system – the possible motive for the attack based on sexual orientation will be an aggravating or an extenuating circumstance, given the level of homophobia, impunity of attacks and threats, and the number of still unsolved cases of violence and discrimination against GLBT people.

GSA therefore demands from the Ministry of Interior and other responsible bodies to urgently investigate and bring to light the real motives for the attack and inform the public about them, as well as to duly process this case and most severely punish the perpetrator in accordance with the law. In addition, since there are some indications that Živanović was not alone, GSA asks that possible accomplices in the attack be urgently found and processed.

The legal service of GSA will also make a request for access and the court’s permission to monitor this case in accordance with the Legal Code on Criminal Procedure on the basis of the overtness of the proceedings and the status of a party that has a justified interest in this case.

Gay Straight Alliance will also monitor with great interest the further qualification of this committed act by the police and the prosecutor, because if the statement of the accused is correct, then this is not merely robbery but also an attempted murder.

GSA Info Center