Open letter calling Serbian authorities to support and protect Belgrade Pride 2011
Find here the open letter from ILGA-Europe regarding Belgrade Pride 2011 to Boris Tadić, President of the Republic of Serbia, Mirko Cvetković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, Minister of Internal Affairs, Milan Marković, Minister of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government and Dragan Đilas, Major of Belgrade.
On behalf of ILGA-Europe I am writing to call on you to ensure the necessary protection and support to Belgrade Pride 2011 which is planned to take place on 2 October.
ILGA-Europe’s representative will officially attend the pride march. ILGA-Europe will also monitor the situation before and during the pride march and report to relevant European Institutions.
ILGA-Europe welcomed the support provided by the Serbian government to Belgrade Pride in 2010 and congratulated Serbian police for its professionalism. However, we are concerned about the recent statements by Interior Minister Mr. Dačić and other prominent politicians suggesting that the pride march do not take place because of the security risks.
The right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 20), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 21), European Convention on Human Rights (Article 11) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 12), and is confirmed by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on Baczkowski v. Poland (3 May 2007) and Alekseyev v. Russia (21 October 2010) cases. It is also strongly highlighted in the Recommendation from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity including the obligation by law-enforcement authorities to take appropriate measures to protect the participants from any attempts to unlawfully disrupt or inhibit their right to peaceful assembly. In addition, there is an obligation on the states aspiring to become EU members to respect and protect the human rights of all its citizens, including LGBTI people.
In 2010 the government of Serbia showed strong political will and proved that it is capable to guarantee the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people to freedom of assembly in Serbia. We sincerely hope that you will maintain your commitment to human rights for all Serbian citizens and will guarantee the necessary political support and adequate police protection for Belgrade Pride 2011.
ILGA-Europe, Programmes Director