LGBTI+ community marches at Belgrade Pride in face of far-right violence

Belgrade Pride was marred by violence on Saturday (17 September), as far-right protesters hurled stun grenades, stones and flares.

The pan-European Pride event EuroPride 2022 was hosted by Belgrade, and involved a week of events before the march on Saturday.

According to AP News, Serbia’s prime minister Ana Brnabic said that 5,200 police officers were dispatched to the event in an attempt to protect Pride-goers from far-right attacks.

Nevertheless, ultraconservative protesters threw stun grenades, flares and rocks at the march and the police cordon, with police in riot gear and defending the Pride event with batons. The violence resulted in 64 arrests and 10 injured police officers.

When the march, which was initially banned before being reinstated with a shorter route, passed a church, bells incessantly rang out to show the Orthodox Church’s opposition to LGBTI+ rights.

Vahid Aliyev from Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance said that ultra-conservative and religious groups prepared Molotov cocktails to prevent the Pride March and attacked journalists and media representatives covering the event, saying "Kill the f****s!"

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