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Okvir and Foundation OneWorldSEE: We all have Responsibilities in the Fight for Freedom

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The Okvir Association and the Foundation OneWorld Platform for Southeast Europe want to inform the general public that the fight for freedom, security, visibility and right of LGBTIQA persons is permanent and that we all have responsibility to take that fight and report, process and sanction hate-crimes.

Last Friday, October 11, 2013, the press-conference organized by the Okvir Association and the OneWorld SEE Foundation to mark the International Coming Out Day was forcefully interrupted by a group of young males.

They entered the premises of Sarajevo’s Mediacentre and interrupted the press-conference with threats like “You faggots! Don’t make us come to you”, “This is not a tolerant city, this is city of the normal people, and you are not normal! This is the last time you do something like this, this is the last time we leave in peace, mark my words!”

After their threats and insults, they left the Mediacentre. A police patrol arrived immediately afterwards and the incident was reported and notified and proper charges were filed with the competent Police department.

The OneWorldSEE Foundation and the Okvir Association call on competent authorities to apprehend and legally sanction the perpetrators of violence against LGBTIQA persons during the press conference on the Coming Out Day in BiH, and to investigate and sanction all other acts of violence against LGBTIQA persons, including the persons responsible for the violent attack on the Sarajevo Queer Festival 2008.

The OneWorldSEE Foundation and the Okvir Association, as organizations that promote dialogues and protection of human rights and freedoms, want to send a clear message that violence can’t be tolerated.

We call on all competent institutions and the general public in Bosnia and Herzegovina to take active involvement and promote the respect for basic human rights and freedoms and sanctioning for all violations of those rights. The Coming Out Day in BiH is an act of courage of the activists who chose to tell the truth and resist the daily denial of existence of LGBTIQA rights, culture and LGBTIQA persons in general.

It is our responsibility to condemn, both individually and collectively, the violations and infringement of basic human rights, to promote and defend the diversity, regardless of gender, sex, class, race, ethnic background, age or ability, because we believe that we all have equal right to express and enjoy our freedoms, without fear of violence, discrimination and oppression.

Under the auspices of the Participate 2015 project, the OneWorldSEE Foundation and the Okvir Association provided an opportunity to eight LGBTIQA activists to produce digital stories telling their personal and political experiences. The Okvir Association produced two participatory videos – “Queer Re:act”, on queer activism in BiH, and “With Love, Your Children”, on the relationship LGBTIQA persons have with their parents and relatives. The two videos aim to increase the visibility of LGBTIQA rights, persons, culture and identities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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