Cooperation with activists organising the first Bosnian Pride Parade has been established and Sarajevo police will act in line with Law on Public Gathering, Sarajevo Canton (SC) Interior Minister Admir Katica said Monday in N1's programme, two weeks before the event is set to take place.
“Sarajevo Canton Interior Ministry will implement this activity in line with the Law on Public Gathering, which stipulates in its Article 1, Paragraph 2, that citizens of Sarajevo Canton are entitled to free gatherings,” said Katica.
The minister's words come a few days after the political party which nominated him for the post, the ruling People and Justice Party (NiP), warned of possible consequences that the Pride Parade may have.
NiP suggested that the event should be called off because, as they pointed out, it “will not improve but may worsen the entire security situation in Sarajevo and wider.”
Speaking for N1, Katica stressed he was not the party's member and that the only political instruction he ever got from them when the party nominated him was to work in line with the law.
“Three basic principles I use in my work are the safety of citizens, the rule of law and legislation, which I will stick to in the future,” he underlined.
LGBT activists earlier announced the first Pride Parade would take place in the Bosnian capital on September 8, triggering a broad discussion whether it should take place or not.
The organisers received the strong support of foreign organisations and embassies in the country, as well as some local political representatives.
While the liberal Nasa Stranka (Our Party) strongly supports the gathering, their coalition partner in the Sarajevo Canton, the People and Justice Party, calls for cancellation. Conservative Party for Democratic Action (SDA) also opposes it.
The route where the participants will walk on September 8 has not been specified yet but so far some 500 participants were registered to take part in the event. No threats to their safety have been reported.
“Neither the police administration nor the organisers have information about possible safety threats, but caution is needed. Some 500 participants have registered. Formal prerequisites to hold the pride parade were established back in 2003,” the minister said reminding that the country adopted the Law on Prohibiting the Discrimination as well as the Istanbul Convention.