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About to attack the Gay Pride marchers in 2001
The LGBT Community Reacts Against Homophobia

in SERBIA, 29/07/2004

LGBT Rights Groups Write an Open Letter to the Gov't demanding a Public Statement against Homophobic Political Parties

Dear Ms/Mr,

Expecting your reaction regarding the action conducted by the Fatherland (nationalistic) Movement Obraz, which has not been expressed again, we turn to you publicly, for it is important not to stay silent about any kind of discrimination, including discrimination against homosexual citizens.

Obraz has put up posters all over the cities in Serbia which indirectly, but undoubtedly, are a call for the lynching of homosexual citizens. According to this campaign, gay men and lesbians are proclaimed sick, which is against all European and international human rights conventions and the regulations of the International Health Organization. We consider this action as a violation of the basic human right to the free choice of a sexual partner. This action represents a symptom of intense oppression of the public space which opens up possibilities for further discriminatory acts, not only against homosexual persons but also against all other minorities which could be recognized by Obraz as inadequate for the idea and spirit of the “Nationhood” (“Srbstva”).

Considering that you are advocating for the integration of Serbia into the European Union, we expect your condemnation of homophobia, which is forbidden by the crucial documents of the EU, and by the new anti-discriminatory law of the Republic of Serbia as well.

We demand from you, the representatives of all citizens, to clearly and publicly condemn the action by the Fatherland Movement Obraz and every act of homophobia in general, in accordance with the Constitution which guaranties equal rights for all individuals. By doing so, you will provide safety and security guaranties for all people in Serbia.

We – the undersigned – will encourage you and keep insisting on your public statements and reactions in regard to the human rights of gay men and lesbians, as long as you try to hide behind the silence which denies existence of 5% of the population in Serbia and which directly endangers democracy.

Signed – gay and lesbian organizations:

Lepa Mladjenovi
LABRIS – Lesbian Rights Group

Bobana Macanovi
Direct action GLBT, Beograd

Milan Djuri and Duan Maljkovi
GAYTEN LGBT – Center for Promotion of LGBT Human Rights


Boris Milievi
PRIDE- Pride Association

Attila Kovacs
NEW AGE – Organizations New Age – Rainbow, Novi Sad
Gay.org

Marija abanovic
LAMBDA, Center for Promotion of LGBT Human Rights and Queer Culture - Nis

Predrag Azdejkovi
QUEERIA – LGBT Working Group

Miodrag Kojadinovi
Queer Studies Programme, Beograd

The letter has been sent to the following addresses:

President of the Republic of Serbia Boris Tadi
Prime minister of the Republic of Serbia Vojislav Kotunica
Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia Zoran Stojkovi
Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Dragan Joci
President of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia Predrag Markovi
Ministry of Human and Minorities Rights of Serbia and Montenegro Rasim Ljaji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro Vuk Drakovi
Belgrade City Mayor Radmila Hrustanovi

CC:
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, Geneve
- European Commissioner for Justice Antonio Vitorino, Bruxelles
- Amnesty International, London
- Human Rights Watch, New York
- IGLHRC, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, San Francisco
- ILGA, International Lesbian and Gay Association, Brussels

Belgrade, 25th of July 2004
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