Gay rights activist attacked in Belgrade

Taking part in a gay rights conference on Saturday 14 September, a German gay rights activist was severely beaten and has suffered life-threatening brain injuries in Belgrade, Serbia. Although the identity of the 27-year-old man has not been released, police say that they have arrested three potential suspects.

Doctors at a Belgrade emergency hospital say the man suffered internal bleeding and head injuries — ‘He had surgery and his condition is serious,’ said Dusan Jovanovic, the deputy director of the hospital. The unidentified survivor is holding on, says the German ambassador to Serbia, Heinz Georg Wilhelm, ‘He is awake, so that is already very good but it is still early to say something . . . The doctors told us that the first 24 hours you can’t say very much, but he is awake and that is positive.’

According to ABC News, Serbia has had a long history of attacks by far-right groups against gay activists, but has repeatedly pledged to ‘Protect human rights as it seeks European Union membership.’ In response to the attack, gay rights supporters marched in downtown Belgrade on Saturday, carrying signs saying, ‘Stop the Violence’ and ‘Your Policies, Our Blood.’

Serbia’s Interior Minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic, has pledged that police will accurately identify the attackers.

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