Violence breaks out at Zagreb Pride for first time in 10 years

Zagreb police said on Sunday that several offences were committed during and after the Zagreb Pride parade, including punching participants in the face and setting a rainbow flag on fire, and that five persons were arrested. [Shutterstock/fLokii]

Violence broke out at Zagreb’s pride parade for the first time in 10 years on Saturday, with organisers describing an “outbreak of homophobic-fascist violence” consisting of “a series of attacks, arson and insults in different parts of the city.”

Zagreb police said on Sunday that several offences were committed during and after the Zagreb Pride parade, including punching participants in the face and setting a rainbow flag on fire, and that five persons were arrested.

“Violence against LGBTQI persons on the streets of Zagreb and other cities, notably Rijeka, is again becoming a serious problem for our society,” pride parade organisers said in a press release.

“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,” the organisation added.

Zagreb Pride blamed recent comments by far-right lawmakers for contributing to the violence.

“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, the group said.

While Grmoja previously said that “LGBT propaganda is being imposed on children, I will create an anti-paedophile package of laws and put an end to it,” Petrov said that “they have to understand that they are a minority and that we tolerate that.”

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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