Belgrade, 14.30hrs Tuesday 13 September 2022

Following an announcement that the EuroPride march taking place on Saturday is banned, organisers Belgrade Pride have said that they will submit a formal complaint to the police to overturn the decision. The announcement of the ban follows three weeks of turmoil after President Aleksandar Vučić said EuroPride was ‘cancelled’.

In a defiant message, Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association which licences EuroPride, said:

“Police have waited until the last possible moment to ban the EuroPride march. Every time this has happened in Belgrade before, the courts have ruled the decision unconstitutional. The first ever ban on a EuroPride march cannot be allowed to stand and I have no doubt the court will take the same stance this time.”

“The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, is about to take to the stage at the EuroPride human rights conference, and I demand that she explains why she has utterly failed to keep the promise of support she gave in 2019 when Belgrade was bidding for EuroPride. This ban displays a complete failure of her political leadership and the complete failure of Serbia to protect its citizens most basic freedoms. No self-respecting country would give in to bullies.”

“The ban is futile. Thousands of LGBTI+ people and their allies are already in Belgrade to take part in EuroPride. We will gather on Saturday, even if we cannot march. We urge everyone who supports LGBTI+ equality and human rights to take a stand, and join us on Saturday. It’s time for change and it is time for Belgrade. We are here and we will gather.”

EuroPride in Belgrade began yesterday (Monday 12 September) with a flag raising ceremony at the Palace of Serbia and the opening of the Pride House in central Belgrade. More than 100 events are taking place over the seven days of the event.