As reported by portals Južne vesti and N1, a group of around 200 secondary school pupils has gathered today in the centre of Leskovac with intention to prevent the Pride Parade. The fake news came from Facebook; namely, on Sunday night, the news appeared on the Facebook that the Pride Parade would allegedly take place the next day at 13.00 o’clock.
At the gathering, where insulting and abusive slogans aimed at the LGBT+ community could be heard, a Jug media correspondent was physically attacked while attempting to photograph the protesters, while the correspondent of the BETA news agency was attacked when she tried to record the gathering by her phone. The JUGpress journalist was also verbally attacked and insulted for filming the gathering without the reaction from the police officers who were standing there.
We believe that everyday attacks on the LGBT+ community are inacceptable in a society where the executive authorities nominally keep repeating that they aim at EU membership, while different marginalised groups are targeted by the extremists of all kinds. Hatred, discrimination, violence and homophobia must be clearly stopped, not only through education and the prevention of violence, especially violence of young people, but also through clear messages of competent authorities that violence will be punished. Such gatherings of hatred are on the rise and the freedom of gathering is applied selectively. Thus, peace activists are paying fines for legitimate protests, while the extreme right, led by Šešelj, Vacić and Boško Obradović, holds the marches of hatred across Serbia and incite violence among the young people, while the highest state officials remain silent.
This is only one out of many attacks on the LGBT+ community which occurred in the last couple of months. Let us remind you, only two days ago, the Pride Info Centre in Belgrade was attacked for the eleventh time, when a group of young men was kicking the window and destroyed the lock at the front door and a part of inventory.
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights and the Da se zna! organisation are calling on the competent authorities to prosecute not only this, but all the other attacks on the LGBT+ community and protect their citizens, and thus send a message that violence in Serbia is punished in accordance with the law.
Video: Južne vesti