Belgrade police clash with hooligans during Pride march
On Tuesday June 8, Belgrade police opened fire at the hooligans who gathered to celebrate the parade and to protest a ban on homosexual propaganda.
“Police officers started shooting when people started throwing objects,” Milenko Aleksić, a spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party of Serbia, said.
“It’s not clear who was behind the violence. It was mostly youths,” Aleksić said. “As far as I know they were not masked. Probably they did not want to be involved in violence by throwing things.”
Serbian police arrested seven people who said they acted in solidarity with the victims of the June 7 anti-LGBT protests.
“People in Belgrade are very disappointed, disappointed by what happened,” said Svetozar Marković, editor of the Belgrade newspaper Danas, who attended the Pride parade. “This is a big tragedy. You could say it has to do with the Serbian society as a whole.”
The police have offered a 10,000RUP, or 20,000RUP, bribe to anyone who gives information that leads to the arrest of a suspect or an arrest of a group responsible for the violence.
In a statement released after the incident, President Aleksandar Vucic said the police “did their duty to protect the security of the community and the citizens of Belgrade.”
The incident is only the latest in a series of attacks on LGBT people in Serbia. The country has some of the most restrictive anti-gay laws in Europe and, as a member of the Council of Europe, is required to implement the European Convention on Human Rights.
Belgrade Pride was the second largest in the world, with 20,000 people, but the police made it clear that the events would not be policed like other large crowds. “We are simply not going to allow people to gather in a public square and shout slogans