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Croatian President Condemns Violence at Gay Pride Parade

Croatian President Condemns Violence at Gay Pride Parade

Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic has condemned violence at a Pride parade in the coastal city of Split on Saturday as “shameful.” Around a dozen people were injured, several of them journalists, when violence broke out at the event. The police said at a press conference Saturday that 137 people were arrested.

From Radio Free Europe:

[President Ivo Josipovic] said the violence has “shown that there are some non-European parts of our society.”

He insisted that it was “not Croatia’s real face.”

Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor warned that violence and hatred were “something that cannot be tolerated in Croatia.”

Some 10,000 opponents of the gay-pride parade in Split hurled stones, bottles, bricks, cigarette lighters, and stones at around 200 participants who eventually had to be evacuated in police vehicles.

A spokesperson for Amnesty International reportedly blasted police over their perceived failure to adequately defend the Pride event.

From On Top Magazine:

“It is a disgrace that the police failed to adequately protect participants of today’s march,” said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International’s director for Europe and Central Asia.

“The authorities must hold an immediate investigation into what happened,” he added. “The police have to make absolutely clear that discriminatory violence is a criminal offense and will not be tolerated.”

Duckworth went on to call on lawmakers to condemn the violence.

“The Croatian authorities need to act to stop this happening in [the] future. A first step would be for all political leaders to state unequivocally that everyone has the right to peacefully demonstrate and express their identity.”

Police officials reportedly warded off these accusations at a press conference Saturday saying the Pride route they had planned was sound and maintaining that their quick actions when LGBT rights opponents turned nasty meant that more people were spared injury.

They also pointed out that at least one police officer was injured in trying to protect the marchers from violence and stated that there will be a full inquiry into the incident.

Saturday’s violence comes just a day after Croatia was cleared to join the European Union in July, 2013. Read more on that here.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.

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7:38AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

Thanks...hope this helps

1:18AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

How ridiculous! While those people may not have agreed with the parade or the gay's, that type of behavior is UNCALLED for and when they're turning to violence because they don't agree with being gay, how does that make them any better? It makes them worse! VIOLENCE is a weak person's way of "making a difference" only it doesn't make a difference in any way besides bad. I think it's disgusting people would resort to this. If you don't agree with the parage why go? They didn't have to do that.

11:37AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Hope this does something to change the public's mentality.

8:24AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Good for him!!

7:12AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

I am pleased to hear of President Ivo Josipovic condemning violence against LGBT people in Croatia. I do hope other leaders in Eastern Europe will join him.

The violent attacks against LGBT people in Eastern Europe show very clearly why Pride celebrations and marches are needed in those countries.

5:31AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Very slow progress in many parts of the world, but at least they are still fighting their way forward. I applaud the president for speaking out, it would be easy for him not to do so, even if it is just a show for the EU watchdogs. Even more importantly, I am grateful to the EU, for forcing these backwards countries in Eastern Europe to begin to protect the long abused LGBTQ communities. Without being there in person, it seems that blaming the police may be a bit unfair, when you have 10,000 people protesting against 200 marchers, you would need a sizable army to protect them, theres not much a few police officers could do against those odds.

5:01AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

President Ivo Josipovic sonds like a progressive guy. In most former eastern bloc countries the police arrests they gays; not the trouble-makers.

3:35PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Thank you to Croatian President and Prime Minister for condemning the mindless homophobic violence as witnessed in Split. It's good to see that Croatia belongs to Europe, and that not all Croats are Ustashe hating anything and everything different.

3:18PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Sadly Croatia is far behind whenit comes to gay rights, human rights, women's rights, etc. Actually it's pretty far behind much of theworld and almost all of Europe when it comes to this new fangled concept called "progress". Hopefully in time they'll catch up, but it won't be a fast easy road. One step at a time though. At least President Ivo Josipovic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor had the good sense to speak out about it and condemn the violence, though I have no doubt much of it was PR damage control. Thanks Steve.

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