Bosnia: rights activists assaulted following LGBT occasion ban


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Rights activists within the Serb-run a part of Bosnia have been assaulted late Saturday, hours after banned an LGBT occasion deliberate there over the weekend, citing safety considerations.

The assault happened because the activists have been leaving a gathering on the workplaces of the Bosnian department of the worldwide anti-corruption group Transparency International in Banja Luka. The assembly was organized after the occasion they hoped to stage within the northwestern metropolis on Sunday to advertise LGBT rights was banned by native police.

The activists stated a number of dozen males chased them by way of the streets, hurling insults and punches. Before police arrived on the scene, a number of activists have been damage, together with one who required medical consideration.

The Banja Luka police stated regulation enforcement officers had escorted the activists to the police station to take their statements and have been nonetheless in search of the perpetrators.

The canceled LGBT occasion, organized and supported by a number of rights teams from throughout Bosnia, was to incorporate a film screening adopted by a panel dialogue. Its announcement provoked a powerful homophobic backlash final week, together with from the Bosnian Serb president, Milorad Dodik, who stated LGBT folks have been “harassers” and that he hoped the “official bodies will prevent them from gathering both in closed venues and in the open.”

Banja Luka Mayor Drasko Stanivukovic additionally denounced the occasion saying the LGBT neighborhood ought to limit itself to Bosnia’s multiethnic capital, Sarajevo, as a result of Bosnian Serbs cherish “patriarchal, traditional families and are clear about our faith and our identity.”

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Bosnia stays extremely conservative and torn by divisions stemming from a 1992-95 ethnic struggle involving Bosnia’s Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in the course of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Homophobia stays deep seated regardless of some progress over time in decreasing discrimination.

Since 2019, an annual pleasure parade has been organized frequently in Sarajevo with none notable unrest, however with a big regulation enforcement presence.

The violence in Banja Luka prompted condemnation from European Union officers, a number of Western embassies and worldwide organizations.

“Words have consequences,” the EU mission to Bosnia tweeted, including that common verbal assaults by Bosnian Serb politicians towards civil society activists and journalists create “a climate where physical attacks can follow.”

British Ambassador to Bosnia Julian Reilly concurred in a tweet that the “shocking attack on civic activists … showed the real impact of hate speech.”

The U.S Embassy in Sarajevo tweeted that the Bosnian Serb authorities “must identify and prosecute those who committed this heinous act.”

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