UPDATE: The Pride Parade, which was due to take place on Saturday September 28, has been cancelled by Serbian authorities. Zeleni Srbije, the Serbian Green party, have issued the following statement:
Greens of Serbia: Freedom can’t wait
Greens of Serbia wish to express their disappointment with the cancellation of another Pride parade. Serbia missed another opportunity to show that it is a mature democracy in which all citizens are equal in their rights.
Messages that some Serbian officials sent in the days before were not encouraging. We are confident that our country does not lack of solidarity among citizens as much as it lacks political will among the authorities to deal with the minority who spread fear and violence. If the citizens do not feel safe at sports events, in schools, on the streets or in their homes the problem is much larger than the Parade. Everybody who respects the law and the Constitution of this country and rely on it for protection, has a problem.
We do not agree with the statements of certain politicians that we need time. Freedom can not wait to be won. Citizens need security and the rule of law, as a basic prerequisite of existence. We hope that untill next year we as a country will find the courage and determination to stand up to violence and build interpersonal relationships with peace and tolerance.
The original statement from the EGP can be found below.
The European Green Party (EGP) expresses its strongest possible support for the organisers and participants in Belgrade Pride 2013, which had been due to take place on Saturday September 28. We stand in solidarity with Serbia's LGBT community. Commenting on the event, EGP Co-Chair Monica Frassoni said,“We want to be very clear in our support for everyone involved in Belgrade Pride. Their courage as they standing up for basic human rights is a loud call to the whole of Europe – everyone must have the right to love. It's promising that after planned marches were banned in 2011 and 2012, the authorities have chosen not to hinder the LGBT community in this vital display of the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.We welcome Prime Minister Ivica Dacic's comment that the upcoming Pride parade will help the country's standing with the European Union.
“But we cannot become complacent, given the brutal violence that participants have faced in previous years. The Ministry of Interior and police must take all necessary measures to protect all participants, and ensure the march takes place without incident. Authorities must stand up to their legal and moral obligations, and ensure everyone making threats of violence are brought to justice. Serbia's LGBT community and their allies must not live in fear.
“A successful parade, with proper security provided by the authorities, would add much to the rights of LGBT people and would be another signal of Serbia’s commitment to creating a culture of tolerance and diversity. As Russia has begun to persecute and harass their LGBT communities, there is a need for systematic action across all of Europe to strengthen awareness of basic rights at all levels of society.”