Statement by the EU Delegation and EUSR on the occasion of the recent attack on two members of the LGBTIQ community

The Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union Special Representative in BiH condemns hate crimes, such as last week’s attack on two members of Sarajevo’s LGBTIQ community. LGBTIQ persons are entitled to live their lives free from discrimination and threats and in equality with all other citizens.

We welcome the recent announcement that the first ever LGBTIQ Pride march will take place in Sarajevo in September 2019. Unfortunately, we observe that the announcement triggered a series of negative reactions in the public sphere including by key public and political figures. Such reactions contribute to an environment conducive to hostilities towards members of LGBTIQ community, as exemplified by the recent attack.

We would like to remind the authorities of their positive obligations to promote a society free from discrimination and to safeguard citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression as outlined by the December 2018 BiH Constitutional Court decision on the 2014 Merlinka Festival and the public authorities’ failure to ensure the safety of the participants. These values are key elements of a functioning democracy and are of crucial importance for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the EU path.