A group of men attacked a member of the LGBT community in Sarajevo on Friday, after activists announced earlier this week that Bosnia’s first Pride Parade will take place in September.
Authorities only released the initials of the victim, E.M., born in 1994.
Together with her friend, E.M. stood in front of the Sarajevo City Centre when the men attacked both of them.
E.M. was struck in the head, while her friend did not suffer any injuries.
The Organisation Committee of Bosnia’s first Pride Parade condemned the attack the same day and asked for a thorough investigation into the matter.
According to their statement, one of the attackers had threatened E.M. prior to the attack, telling her that the Pride Parade insults his religious beliefs. The threat was reported to the police.
“This attack is a direct consequence of the intensified hate speech in the public and on social media, which some public persons participated in, after the announcement about the organising of the first Bosnian Pride Parade,” the Committee said in a press statement.
“All public persons, especially those who serve public offices, must be aware of the responsibility which they have when they express their personal opinions in the public sphere,” the activists said, adding that the law banning discrimination in the country also bans “inciting discrimination towards members of the LGBT community” and that the criminal legal code foresees punishments for it.
“Homophobic violence is present and deeply rooted in Bosnia’s society. The attention which the announcement of the Pride garnered sheds light on the seriousness of the violence members of the LGBT community face daily,” the news release said.