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Human Rights in Serbia Becoming a Privilege, say Experts

Human rights are becoming a privilege and politicians have a responsibility to adopt guarantee the protection and rights of LGBTQI+ people, participants at the “More than a march – human rights in Serbia in the light of EuroPride” said on Wednesday.

The event centred on this year’s EuroPride in Belgrade, which took place after weeks of controversy and an initial ban on 17 September.

“It is time to adopt regulations on the rights of the LGBT community and strengthen their protection,” Katarina Golubović, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), said.

“The responsibility of the political elite ,which has been in power for years now, is to change the opinion of citizens with their messages and prepare them for adopting these regulations,” she added.

As for EuroPride featuring in the following Serbia report, as announced by European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčik, Golubović said, “The report will contain a review of EuroPride not only in terms of the rights of the sexual minority but also in terms of the functioning of institutions, the rule of law and the functioning of the judiciary.”

Zorana Milovanović, project manager at the European Movement in Serbia, questioned whether a state could be called democratic when the majority believes they can decide about the rights of the minority.

Milovanović added that in Serbia, people believe that members of the LGBTQI+ have more rights than they actually do and that Prime Minister Ana Brnabić is partly to blame for that misconception. “She has been using political power and political function which help her to exercise rights that most of the LGBT population cannot,” she added.

Jelena Vidić, coordinator for psychological support at the Geten LGBT+ Rights Center, shared the same view on the prime minister, noting that she does not speak about the community’s problems.

“That shows how undesirable a topic it is, how much it carries negative political points, and that’s why it’s avoided. That’s why even the prime minister of this country doesn’t talk about it publicly, and that’s a really big problem,” Vidić also said.