The organisers of the upcoming Pride Parade have secured a permit to hold the event so it is a legal obligation of Canton authorities to make sure it will pass peacefully and in a dignified manner, Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Edin Forto said on Friday after one of the ruling parties in the capital asked the Parade to be cancelled for security reasons.
LGBT activists planned for Bosnia’s first Pride Parade to take place on September 8, causing widespread discussion in the country on whether it should take place or not.
The Parade was met with strong support from the liberal Nasa Stranka (Our Party, NS), which Forto is a member of, but also with opposition by the conservative Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA).
A top official from the People and Justice Party (NiP), which is Nasa Stranka’s coalition partner, on Friday called on organisers of the event to cancel it, saying that most citizens oppose the event and that it may worsen the security situation in Sarajevo.
However, Forto said he will do everything in his power to ensure that all citizens are treated equally and that they have the right to freedom of assembly and protection by the police.
“Throughout the past days during the (Sarajevo Film) Festival we have again shown that Sarajevo is a city with an open heart, the capital of culture and tolerance, let us put an effort into maintaining and cherishing that image,” Forto said.