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Belgrade Pride parade will not go on

‘Nobody could guarantee a safe holding of the parade’: Serbian prime minister

Belgrade Pride. Credit: iscvt.org

About 6,500 police officers were set to provide security for Belgrade Pride parade Sept 28, but the Bureau for the Coordination of Security Services announced that the event will not go on, news portal B92.net reports.

As Pride organizers waited for the release of a security assessment for the event Sept 27,  a number of rightwing groups held a press conference to warn that a repetition of the 2010 street clashes, during which several police officers were injured, could be in the cards if the parade were given the green light.

"People are deeply unsatisfied and are telling us that they will go onto the streets in vast numbers to protest. If that happens again, we all know that Belgrade streets will see bloodshed, and that's in no one’s interest," rightwing activist Ivan Ivanovic of the group "Naši" told media.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said the unanimous decision reached by security services "did not mean a capitulation to hooligans," but “nobody could guarantee a safe holding of the parade" in the face of "serious threats” to peace and public order.

Ivanovic and other members of rightist organizations said they would stage counterprotests to the Pride event, but those gatherings have also been prohibited, the report says.