Australian embassies have sent messages of support to Pride festivals in Romania and Slovakia.
The Australian Embassy in Belgrade, which is responsible for Romania, issued a joint statement with the Embassies of Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We express our support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Romania,” the joint statement said.
“We support the right of these communities to use this traditional occasion to march together peacefully and lawfully, in order to raise awareness of the specific issues that affect them.
“Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be free to enjoy the rights and freedoms to which people of all nations are entitled.
This year’s Belgrade GayFest was largely incident-free as a large police presence was on hand to prevent far-right activists attacking participants as they had in previous years.
Meanwhile, Australia’s embassy in Vienna, responsible for Slovakia, sent a message of support for the inaugural Bratislava Pride festival. Neo-Nazis throwing stones and tear gas canisters attacked the rally after pushing past spectators.
The rally continued, but a subsequent march was cancelled after organisers received warning that more far-right activists were gathering in nearby streets to launch further attacks.
The Australian Embassy was joined by the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Ireland, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, and Germany.
“As we welcome the first LGBT Pride march in Bratislava, we express support and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Slovakia,” the statement read.
“Today, many individuals around the world continue to face discrimination, both systemic and overt, based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Everyone, including LGBT people, should be free to enjoy the rights and freedoms laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We fully support the Slovak LGBT community in their right to march.”
The Slovak Government has come under fire after Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák suggested Bratislava Pride hire private security to protect itself in future, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, Dušan Čaplovič, who is also the Minister for Human Rights and Minorities, suggested discussion of homosexuality required tolerance on both sides in the wake of the attacks.
Amnesty International has called on the Slovak Government to prosecute those responsible.