EuroPride, the pan-European gathering of the LGBTQ+ community due to be held in Belgrade this Saturday, has been banned by Serbian authorities, sparking an outcry from organisers.
“The Serbian police banned this year’s EuroPride march by handing over the official notice to the organisers,” Belgrade Pride said. “Belgrade Pride will use all available legal means to overturn this decision.”
The interior ministry confirmed that the EuroPride march had been forbidden, as had a counter-protest on the same day. Aleksandar Vulin, interior minister, said: “Senseless conflicts on the streets of Belgrade would endanger the safety of the participants of the march, as well as other citizens.”
Tensions have been mounting in Belgrade since the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, called for the cancellation of the event, citing reasons including recent tensions with the former breakaway province of Kosovo and concerns over energy and food.
Goran Miletic, one of the event’s organisers, said the demonstration would go ahead despite the ban. They said: “We will certainly get together and walk as planned.”
Last Sunday, thousands of people took part in an anti-Pride demonstration in Belgrade, with biker gangs, Orthodox priests and far-right nationalists in attendance.