You may recall that last year Belgrade was host to Serbia's first Gay Pride parade since 2001. It was a nightmare. Hundreds of nationalist and religious right-wing protesters attacked and injured more than 100 people, including many of the 5,000 police officers who were present to protect it.
Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić said this week that this year's parade should be called off in order to protect the police force:
“Police always pays the highest price, not only financially but also when it comes to injuries. Many police officers were injured last year,” he pointed out.
The minister stated that if police operated in accordance with the security assessments, the Pride Parade would be declared a high risk event and they would think about calling it off.
“It is not up to police to make such decisions whether some gathering should be held or not,” Dačić stressed and called on state organs and society to voice their opinion about the parade.
The European Commission and the European Parliament are closely monitoring activities in Serbia related to the Pride event, the minister noted.