EU welcomes authorities' commitment to ensure that Pride Parade is held in peace

NEWS 27.08.2019 12:07
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Source: N1

European Union's (EU) office in Sarajevo welcomed the commitment that local authorities demonstrated to ensure that the first Bosnian Pride Parade scheduled for September 8 is held in a peaceful manner.

“The EU stands together with LGBTI persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina and worldwide. LGBTI persons are entitled to live their lives free from discrimination and threats, and in equality with all other citizens,” said the EU's Sarajevo Office, calling on all political leaders to refrain from statements which undermine “fundamental rights and to help ensure that the march takes place in dignity and peace, respecting the human rights of all BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) citizens.”

The statement comes a few days after the ruling People and Justice Party (NiP) warned of possible consequences the Pride Parade may have if it takes place.

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.”

But Admir Katica, Sarajevo Canton Interior Minister, who was nominated for the post by the NiP, dismissed such possibility.

“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, speaking in N1's programme.

The EU's office recalled that the European Commission's Opinion on Bosnia's EU membership application identified the protection and inclusion of vulnerable groups including LGBTI persons, as a key priority.

“The rights to freedom of assembly and of expression are fundamental elements of a functioning democratic society which need to be facilitated by the public authorities, and they are of crucial importance for the progress of any aspiring EU Member State,” said the EU's office.