LGBTI peoople in Serbia have celebrated their first pride parade in six years with no violent incidents.

The pride parade was banned in 2010 after hardline nationalists and football hooligans attacked marchers and fought police in Belgrade. It was brought back in 2014 but each parade was marred by attacks.

This year’s parade began with attendees paying respect to all the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando.

Marko Savic, who was there in 2010 when the parade was attacked, described it as “like a war zone”.

“This was the first parade without incident – it gives us hope that change is coming,” he said.

Representatives from Czech organisation Pride of Serbia said the world holds two kinds of pride events – some celebrate inclusion, unity and freedom, while events like the one in Serbia, is it a protest for citizens who want to be more visible and to gain rights.

Pride was closed by Helena Vukovic from activist organisation Egal. Her message to attendees was: be proud and feel free.

“She has made three requests of the LGBT population and other vulnerable groups: zero tolerance towards violence, empowerment of economically and employment assistance, as well as a legal framework to regulate same-sex unions, and save the document for trans people,” Savic told the Star Observer.

Attendees march through the streets of Belgrade. Picture: Marko Savic

Attendees march through the streets of Belgrade with heavy security. Picture: Marko Savic

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