Incident in midday on central Belgrade street – the state must systemically fight violence against LGBT population

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) expresses deepest concern on account of the attack on a young gay man which occurred on July 18, 2011, around 2 P.M. in Nemanjina Street, one of the central Belgrade streets.

Đ.I. (21) was walking down the street towards a nearby bus-stop, when he was approached by three unknown men, coming from the direction of the park. They stopped him asking for a cigarette, but then immediately they started shouting and threatening him, all the while saying the most insulting homophobic expletives. After they tried to physically attack him, Đ.I., although very scared, managed to get a little away and take out his cellphone in order to call the police. This stopped the attackers who nevertheless still stood facing him for some time, chanting from the top of their voices „Kill the faggot“ and then ran off in the other direction.

GSA stresses the fact that Đ.I.’s attackers showed the same M.O. which has for years been demonstrated by members of several rightwing extremist organisations still operating in Serbia in their threats and assaults on LGBT people.

GSA therefore feels that incidents such as this one point to the inefficiency of measures that the state has been taking so far towards reducing violence against LGBT people. This is reflected in the mild sentences for organizers and participants of violence that occurred during the Belgrade Pride Parade last year, as well as in the non-existence and the non-implementation of systemic measures for reducing violence and discrimination against LGBT people in everyday life.

GSA calls upon all competent authorities to promptly and efficiently begin a systemic fight against violence targeting LGBT people, as well as other citizens of our society. It can no longer be enough to declare disapproval of violence or to give out symbolic sentences for injuring numerous police officers, for a lynch attempt on the participants of Pride Parade or for destroying the city of Belgrade. The sanctions need to be timely and adequate to the committed act.

GSA Info Center