Bosnia’s First Pride Celebration Halted By Violence

Sarajevo pride marred by anti-gay attacks

Organizers of the first-ever Pride celebration in Bosnia canceled the four-day event after anti-gay attackers injured at least eight people on September 24, during the opening night of festivities in Sarajevo.

According to Reuters, about 70 hooded men attacked visitors of the Academy of Fine Arts while shouting, “God is greatest,” in Arabic. Some 250 people were in attendance at the festival, dedicated to LGBT art, film and workshops.

Gay rights leader and festival organizer, Svetlana Djurkovic, cancelled the remainder of the events due to concerns for participants’ safety. Most of the injuries reported from the opening night violence were minor.

Weeks earlier, voices from the Muslim community opposed to the Pride festival had criticized it for taking place during the holy month of Ramadan. Organizers, who said the timing was coincidental, received anonymous death threats.

Sarajevo became a majority Muslim city after the 1992–95 war. Previously, it had been recognized for the peaceful relations among its mixed population of Christians, Jews and Muslims.

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