A lesbian attacked with a knife in Belgrade centre

Belgrade, 15.10.2011.

Regarding the statement of Minister of Interior Ivica Dačić and representatives of the Ministry about this morning’s attack on A. Ž. (24) in Belgrade city centre, where she was seriously injured, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) would like to inform the public about several other details of the said attack.

The attacked member of the LGBT population A. Ž., who was at the time of the attack wearing some symbols of the Pride Parade, reported the case to the police and then also informed GSA. According to the information GSA received, there were three attackers who followed A. Ž. and her two friends from Zeleni Venac to the corner of Carice Milice and Maršala Birjuzova, where the assault took place.

After they had noticed that A. Ž. was wearing symbols of the LGBT movement, one of them assaulted her uttering curses and several times asking her if she was a lesbian. He started hitting her and then drew a knife and attacked her with it. A. Ž. suffered major physical injuries – a deep cut on the right hand with severed tendons on two fingers, a head contusion, and several bruises and cuts all over her body, which the attacker gave her using his fists and legs. The attack would have certainly ended with more tragic consequences if A. Ž., with the help of a friend, had not offered resistance in an attempt to save her life and grabbed the knife with the hand that was injured, thus avoiding wounds that could have been fatal.

A. Ž. is currently feeling better, her condition is stable and she is under constant medical supervision in Clinical centre of Serbia, where she is awaiting operation of her right hand. Gay Straight Alliance is in continuous contact with her – GSA’s activists were with A. Ž. this morning when she was admitted to the Emergency centre, and then later today they visited her with a lawyer from GSA’s Legal Service.

GSA and their Legal Service will actively monitor the work of the police, the public prosecutor and the judiciary on this case, and will represent the victims of this violent attack before all relevant institutions.

GSA commends this morning’s rapid intervention by the police. However, GSA demands that all perpetrators and accomplices in this crime be found without delay, regardless of their age, and that they be brought to justice, while the relevant court must impose adequate punishments as soon as possible.

Attacks on LGBT people happen throughout the entire year, which is something GSA and other LGBT organisations regularly inform the public about. This case of severe injuries, i.e. an attempted murder, is one of the most serious ones that were reported to Gay Straight Alliance in the last several years. It is obvious that attackers no longer shrink from trying to take the lives of those who are of a different sexual orientation or who wear symbols of the LGBT movement. GSA therefore asks the relevant state institutions, and especially those politicians who have lately been talking about LGBT people and their activities in a negative context, if it is necessary that somebody be killed in order to finally realise how serious and severe the problems are that LGBT population in Serbia faces and in order to begin solving those problems.

Attacks which keep getting more frequent and more serious obviously cannot be stopped by sporadically dealing with the consequences; rather, it is high time to start dealing with the causes. GSA demands that the state begin without delay the process of systemic reduction of violence and discrimination against LGBT people and that it urgently bring a plan for combatting violence and homophobia. In addition, GSA will inform all relevant international organisations about this case.

GSA Info Center