2 Oct 2011

Gay pride parade banned

7:12 am on 2 October 2011

Serbia has banned a gay pride parade planned for Sunday in the capital Belgrade citing fears it would end in violence. A number of counter-demonstrations were also banned.

Deutsche Welle Radio reports it was the second time in three years that the parade was cancelled due to threats by ultra-nationalists.

Last year, the parade was sabotaged by riots in which more than 100 people were injured. Cars were burned and shops were looted in clashes between police and extremists.

Organizers, who had been planning the parade for four months, described the ban on Friday as the "capitulation of the state to the hooligans."

According to police, anti-gay extremists had planned to set buildings on fire in the suburbs of Belgrade on Sunday and clash with police in the city center.

Correspondents say homophobia is widespread in Serbia.