GSA Website Hacked; Speculations about Possible Ban of Pride Wask Abound3. October 2012 - 12:33 — Dejan Georgievski
The website of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) was hacked last Monday, October 1, 2012, but unknown hackers, who replaced the website’s contents with the threat “We are waiting for you!”.
GSA says that they don't doubt it for a moment that this was a direct threat against LGBT persons, noting that the First Basic Court in Belgrade ruled, in the trial of Mladen Obradović, the leader of now banned „Obraz“ movement of the extreme right, that the same slogan „We are waiting for you!“ advocated discrimination and causes fear and insecurity among the LGBT population.
„There is no doubt that this threat was addressed at our activists and the whole LGBT population, in an atmosphere of fear created on the eve of the announced Pride Parade“, GSA says in its statement on the website that was restored yesterday. (At the moment of publication of this article, GSA’s website was not available again.)
GSA demanded from competent authorities to take all measures to investigate the case, including investigation and sanctioning of all threats voiced in Serbian public recently and which call for violence agaisnt LGBT population.
Over the past week, there have been growing speculation in the public that the Ministry of Interior may again, like last year, officially ban the planned walk to be held during the „Pride Week“, prompting the reaction by several organisations.
The Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) from Belgrade believes that such a decision would prove either that the state apparatus doesn’t really have under control all segments of the security services or that the Serbian state uses the services of paramilitary formations whose rampaging we saw in 2010 in Belgrade and in 2011 in northern Kosovo.
„If the state moves to ban the walk, Serbia will admit that it is a weak state that doesn't hold monopoly on organized use of force or that paramilitary formations, which are wrongly called hooligans and football hooligans by the general public, for those purposes that the state dares not articulate in public, from intimidation of the public, violence against LGBT activits and their suporters, to conflicts with international organisation in the northern parts of Kosovo“, CEAS reacts.
The Belgrade House of Human Rights demands, in an open letter to the Government of Serbia and the governments of EU member-states, support for all actions that ensure the realization of the freedom of public gathering in Serbia.
„The Government of Serbia has to ensure full respect for the freedom of gathering and expression for LGBT activists and to invest all necessary efforts to ensure the the Belgrade Pride 2012 will be held free of any violence“, the House of Human Rights says in the open letter.
The House of Human Rights notes a list of steps that the Government of Serbia has to take to support the citizens and the organizers of the Pride including, above all, prevention of violence directed at the LGBT groups, concrete steps and activities to protect their rights and adoption of Anti-Discrimination Strategy in cooperation with all relevant human rights organizations and organization that promote the rights of the LGBT population.
The House of Human Rights also demands from the Government to fight the impunity of all those that intend to commit violence over the citizens that realize their right to freedom of gathering and from the highest offices of the state to send a clear message to the public about the importance of respect for human rights of all citizens of Serbia, especially the dicriminated and marginalized groups.
The House of Human Rights warned that the Pride can’t be banned, having in mind the fact that the participants of that gathering represent no security risks. Furthermore, if it succeeds, it will be another proof that all citizens of Serbia enjoy their rights fully and the Serbia adheres to the principles of the rule of law.
(Source: GSA/Građanske inicijative)