Press release on attack committed against LGBTIQA activists of Association Okvir
Sarajevo, March 27, 2013
LGBTIQA Association ”Okvir” issues the following press release as to inform the general public that defending human rights, freedom, safety and equality are a constant struggle and it is our individual and collective responsibility to react, report and sanction hate crimes.
On Sunday, March 24, 2013, half an hour after midnight, a group of seven persons out of which five are human rights defenders of LGBTIQA Association “Okvir”, was attacked. The physical assault happened within the protected zone of the Presidency building in Sarajevo, BiH. Shouting offensive paroles ”Kill the faggots!” and ”Half foreigners, half faggots!” Unknown group of 10-15 male persons, age group 18-25, has followed, besieged and physically attacked the group of activists of Association “Okvir” shouting sexist, xenophobic and homophobic comments during the attack.
After the police had arrived, the entire incident of violence was recorded, a complaint was filed against the attackers and the case is being handled by the Ministry of the Interior. The entire case was reported to Amnesty International, Council of Europe, OSCE and OHR.
Violence based on sex, gender and sexual orientation, albeit protected by the law, is being witnessed nowadays: recent case of monstrous violence over three-year old girl, cold-blooded murder of seventeen-year-old girl in Pale, and brutal violence over civil sector activists, including LGBTIQA activists of the Association “Okvir“. The entire case was reported to Council of Europe, Amnesty International OSCE and OHR.
In addition to hate crimes committed against LGBTIQA persons, hate speech with open death threats in public place: “DEATH TO FAGGOTS!” “IMPALE! HZ”, “FAGGOTS AND DYKES OUT! BNF!” contributes to the marginalisation of LGBTIQA community through enticing hatred, but at the same time leads to the marginalisation of all those who stand for freedom and equality.
Hereby, Association “Okvir” sends a clear message that public silence will not protect anyone and reminds the authorities they must actively support and protect human rights and freedoms. Our responsibility is to individually and collectively condemn open infringement and violation of basic human rights and to promote and defend diversity regardless of gender, sex, class, race, ethnicity, age and capability, because we believe that we all have equal right to express and rejoice in our freedoms without fear of violence, discrimination and repression.
Association “Okvir” stands for freedom and equality of every person and community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and appeals to everyone to give their support and contribution in building free and equal Bosnia and Herzegovina so that everyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, have the freedom of movement and act as well as equality.
The rest of signatories:
Udruženje Q (Sarajevo)
Centar za mlade ‘’KVART’’ (Prijedor)
Akcija građana (Sarajevo)
Ženska posla (Sarajevo)
Oštra Nula (Banja Luka)
U.G. Budućnost (Modriča)
UNSA Geto (Banja Luka)
Udruženje Priroda (Bratunac)
Fondacija Cure (Sarajevo)
Centar Žena i društvo (Sarajevo)
Prava za sve (Sarajevo)
Udružene žene (Banja Luka)
Udruženje Žene Ženama (Sarajevo)
INFOTEKA – ženski informaciono dokumentacioni centar (Zenica)
Udruženje žena MAJA (Kravica)
NLO-Novosadska lezbejska organizacija (Novi Sad)
Zagreb Pride (Zagreb)
Lezbejski kolektiv Dajks (Beograd)
LGBT United Macedonia (Makedonija)
Žene u crnom (Beograd)
SOS Konsultacije za lezbejke (Beograd)
Juventas (Crna Gora)
Queer Brigada (Crna Gora)
Zlatiborka Popov Momčinović