23 Apr 15
Montenegro Police Ban Gay March in Niksic
Montenegrin police have banned a planned LGBT and students protest walk scheduled for Friday in Niksic citing concerns of violent clashes.
An “Academic walk of pride”, scheduled for Friday at the Faculty of Philosophy in the Montenegrin town of Niksic has been put on hold for security reasons, police said.
The protest was canceled after police estimated that the legal requirements for the gathering to take place have not been met because of the “increased” security risk.
“Since this is the first public LGBT event in Niksic, it could gather a significant number of opponents of that community,” police said in a statement.
LGBT and student organizations planned to stage a protest walk on Friday protesting over a college ban on a gay rights forum.
The organizers said the march aimed to support the further development of freedom for the student LGBT community in the country.
One of the organizers, the watchdog LGBT Forum Progress, said the faculty administration had banned the planned forum after it “succumbed to pressure from a group of homophobic student leaders”.
The organizers of Friday’s march criticized the decision of the police, saying that it was the first time that an LGBT group gathering had been banned in Montenegro.
“The decision shows the conditions in the state, which does not have the power to deal with homophobia and hooligans,” the organizers said.
Montenegro’s pro-EU government has in the past given full backing to the country’s small gay community and to its right to stage public parades.
However, a recent survey suggested that over 71 per cent of adults in the country still consider homosexuality an illness.
Half of all citizens see homosexuality as a danger to society and say the state should work to suppress it, the same survey said.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)