From Belgrade, Serbia, Mirko Ilic (below, bottom) corresponds from a violent anti-gay demonstration fronted by Nationalists and skin heads took place last week. He was there, in anticipation of the threatened violence, to show support for the gay groups involved, for whom he has also created graphics.
From the Sydney Star:
Police protected participants in a pride parade in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Sunday.
Serbia’s first attempt at a pride march was broken up by skinheads in 2001, while an event planned for September last year was effectively banned by the Government in response to threats of violence from far right groups.
But this year the Government deployed 5000 police and armored vehicles to protect the pride march.
The Obraz far right group and soccer fans physically attacked pride participants. The police made 207 arrests. 124 police officers were injured by rioters throwing rocks and bottles. The rioters destroyed 11 police cars and looted stores before being fought back by police using tear gas. Ilic had to be removed from the mass attack in an armored vehicle.
In the aftermath, Serbian president Boris Tadic condemned the attacks, reports the Star:
“Serbia will guarantee human rights for all its citizens, regardless of the differences among them, and no attempts to revoke these freedoms with violence will be allowed,” Tadic said.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Serbia in 1994, and an equal age of consent set at 14 introduced in 2006, while anti-discrimination laws protecting people on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity were enacted last year.
See BBC coverage here.