Serbian police clashes with right-wing protesters, detains 64 people in Belgrade EuroPride


Serbian police clashed with right-wing protesters and detained 64 people in Belgrade EuroPride on Saturday.

Citing security concerns after right-wing groups threatened to hold protests, the interior ministry banned the march earlier this week.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said, “I am very proud that we managed to avoid more serious incidents.”

Adding that 10 police officers were slightly injured after a group of hooligans threw flares at the police.

Despite some progress over the years in reducing discrimination, Gay marriage is not legally recognised in Serbia and homophobia remains deep-seated.

Also read | Thousands protest the forthcoming EuroPride in Serbian capital

With officers pushing back the small groups of counter-demonstrators waving crosses and religious insignia, there was a heavy police presence around the Pride rally.

Following intense international pressure to allow the march, Serbia barred any counter-protests but some far-right groups gathered in front of several Belgrade churches. 

Despite the imposition of the ban at least, 15 members of the European Parliament joined the Pride march in a show of solidarity.

After far-right groups targeted the event Belgrade Pride marches in 2001 and again in 2010 were marred by violence and rioting.

Drawing criticism from human rights groups and others, previous Serbian governments have banned Pride parades.

EuroPride organisers approved Belgrade as this year’s host as recent Pride marches in Serbia have passed off peacefully and the country is a candidate to join the European Union.

(With inputs from agencies)

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