Sunday, 4 July 2021

Zagreb Pride: Outbreak of Homophobic Violence for First Time in 10 Yrs

ZAGREB, 4 July, 2021 - The Zagreb Pride organisation said on Sunday that yesterday, for the first time in ten years, an outbreak of homophobic violence occurred on the day of the LGBTIQ community's Pride Parade in Zagreb.

Zagreb Pride said in a press release the "outbreak of homophobic-fascist violence" consisted of "a series of attacks, arson and insults in different parts of the city."

It expects the police to treat all the attacks as hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and not as misdemeanors for disturbing the peace.

The organisation said it had contacted some of the victims and that it would extend legal and other support "in the criminal procedure because the perpetrators (of one attack) have been arrested."

Describing another attack, Zagreb Pride said that a young lesbian was attacked after the parade by four men who noticed her rainbow flag. They grabbed the flag, hit her, threw her to the ground and took off, it added.

According to the organisation, several incidents involving threats, intimidation and vulgar outbursts have not been reported. It called on victims to contact them and report the attacks with the organisation's help.

"Violence against LGBTIQ persons on the streets of Zagreb and other cities, notably Rijeka, is again becoming a serious problem for our society," the press release said.

LGBTIQ youth, who are the most frequent victims of such public violence, will never agree to live in the closet, as they loudly showed at the Pride Parade yesterday, Zagreb Pride said.

"They have lived their entire lives in a society in which our struggle has opened the spaces of their freedom. Every LGBTIQ person in Croatia has the right to live freely, be visible and themselves, wave the rainbow flag, hug and kiss in the street."

Zagreb Price said they had secured visibility and that this would never change. "We will never go back to the silence and the closet, we will never again lower our heads before these cowardly scoundrels. It's time the aggressive homophobic minority realises it has been defeated."

The organisation said "there is no doubt" that recent statements by MPs Nikola Grmoja and Božo Petrov, "spreading intolerance, homophobia, inciting divisions and hate," had contributed to Saturday's incidents.

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Sunday, 4 July 2021

Several Zagreb Pride Participants Attacked, Five Perpetrators Arrested

ZAGREB, 4 July, 2021- Zagreb police said on Sunday that a number of offences were committed during and after yesterday's Zagreb Pride parade, including punching participants in the face and setting a rainbow flag on fire, and that five persons were arrested.

Police said that around 10.30 pm one woman, 32, and two men, 21 and 22, carrying a rainbow flag, were approached by a number of unknowns, one of whom punched the 22-year-old in the face. They took the flag and set it on fire, after which an unknown woman punched the 21-year-old and the woman in the face.

The three victims sustained light injuries and received medical treatment. Five persons were arrested in connection with this assault and a criminal investigation is under way, police said.

Another incident occurred at 9.15 pm, when a girl of 18 dropped a rainbow flag, after which four unknown men approached, one of whom took the flag and hit her hand with it, after which they took off. A criminal investigation is under way.

Around half past noon, an unknown man in a car stopped two 30-year-old women from passing, verbally attacked them on "sexual orientation grounds" and spat one in the face. A criminal investigation is under way.

Police also said that around 4.20 pm, during the parade, two minors "expressed their non-support of the parade with symbolic messages on their T-shirts." They were brought in for questioning and later released. They will be charged with a misdemeanor.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.