Ingen homoparade i Serbia

Gay_PrideBBC: A gay parade planned to take place in Belgrade on Sunday has been cancelled, due to security concerns.

The decision came after a recent wave of homophobic graffiti that has appeared across the city with slogans like «Gay parade – we’re waiting for you» and «Death to homosexuals».

Past days have seen increased threats from ultra-nationalist groups vowing to stop the parade at all costs.

The organisers and city authorities feared a repeat of eight years ago, when Belgrade’s first ever gay parade had to be abandoned half-way through due to widespread violence by an angry mob of protesters.

Television pictures of bleeding participants and police firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowd were flashed across the globe.

Majda Puaca, one of the organisers of this year’s event, also took part in 2001.

I met her in one of Belgrade’s few gay bars – a smoky little venue, tucked away behind the central boulevard.

It is a far cry from the very public party scene in the rest of the city, in which the streets are teeming with cafes and nightclubs. This particular place tries hard not to be noticed.

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