The first Pride Parade in Bosnia and Herzegovina was organized in Sarajevo on Sunday.
According to media reports, more than 2,000 people took part in the march, which was heavily secured by more than 1,100 police officers, including anti-sniper units in the city center. No incident was reported during the event.
Members of the LGBTIQ community, their friends and citizens who support the Pride Parade, walked from the ‘Eternal Flame’ monument to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Square, where they were addressed by the organizers of the march.
Organizers underlined that this was a historic day for Bosnia and Herzegovina and said that now, more than ever, they would bravely fight for their lives, free of fear and violence.
Member of the Organizing Committee Lejla Huremovic addressed participants and said that they wanted to build a society without violence, a society full of solidarity, support and coexistence, where no one would have to hide love and live their lives within their own four walls.
US and UK Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eric Nelson and Matthew Field respectively, took part the first Bosnia’s pride march.
“This is very important for the people and the community that is invisible. They are here. They live here. There is a lot of discrimination. A day like this is rare, but it is beautiful. A peaceful protest is taking place in the streets, which was also the case yesterday (Saturday). Police did a fantastic job to make the streets safe for all of us”, said Nelson.
Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic also welcomed the Pride Parade, and so did a number of other local and international officials, public persons, artists, journalists, writers, bloggers, lawyers, musicians and actors.
Hahn wrote on his Twitter profile that the Pride Parade was “an important step in the protection of fundamental rights of all citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including LGBTIQ persons who have the right to live their lives free from discrimination, abuse and threats, and enjoy full social inclusion”.
The first Bosnia’s pride march was covered by a number of regional and world media, including Reuters, Euronews, The Independent, Deutsche Welle, ABC News, Radio Free Europe, the Irish Times, the Japan Times and many others.