EU criticizes Belgrade Pride cancellation and asks Serbian authorities for explanations

The ambassador of the European Union in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, has criticized this Sunday the cancellation of the Pride by the Serbian authorities, who justified the decision by the current crisis with Kosovo.

“We regret that Serbia has announced that it will cancel or postpone the Europride that it had initially decided to organize in Belgrade in September and would welcome further clarification,” Giaufret said on his Twitter account.

In this regard, he added that they will follow the issue “closely”: “Let’s hope that a way will be found to ensure that Europride will take place in peace and security.”

The European diplomat, formerly ambassador to Israel, has called for the European Union’s “closest” partners to respect fundamental rights.

“Europride has been advocating equal rights for LGBTIQ people across Europe for many years, giving a voice to those who are often discriminated against because of their sexual orientation,” Giaufret recalled, after stressing that the EU “supports equality and rejects any form of discrimination.”

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Belgrade Pride organizers said Saturday that the parade for LGBT rights called for the third week of September in the country’s capital will take place, despite the cancellation of the Serbian government, who indicated that the reason was the crisis with Kosovo.

The authorities explained in a statement that “taking into account the current political situation in the region and the daily tensions that arise, as well as public order, peace and security of all citizens of our country, the Government of Serbia considers that at the moment there are no conditions for the safe holding of Euro Pride 2022.” Thus, the missive indicated that “certain extremist groups could use and abuse this event and Serbia’s willingness to organize it to further increase tensions and lead Serbia to instability”.

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The organizers of the parade have immediately responded by saying that the event would still be held, due to the fact that the Executive has no right to ban it. The president of the European Association of Pride Parade organizers, Kristine Garina, has announced that “it has not been canceled and will not be canceled.” The right to celebrate Pride, she said, is a basic human right, according to the European Court of Human Rights, reports the FoNet portal.

In this way, Garina has pointed out that the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vicic, cannot cancel the event; while the prime minister, Ana Brenabic, “has to keep her promise.” Previously, far-right organizers as well as representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church had raised opposition to the event, reports dpa agency.

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