Bosnia gay festival closes after attacks at opening event

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The organisers of a Queer Festival in Sarajevo have decided to close after some participants were attacked by an angry mob last night.

“We cannot guarantee the safety of visitors,” organiser Svetlana Djurkovic told Reuters.

“The festival is closing down.”

It was the first gay festival in Bosnia and was due to end on Saturday.

At the opening event in a Sarajevo art gallery last night, attended by 250 people, a gang of 70 men threw stones and shouted homophobic slogans.

They were driven back by police, but returned as people were leaving and beat them. Some of the victims were dragged from their cars.

Five men will face charges.

Posters appeared on the streets of Sarajevo earlier this month proclaiming “Death To Gays” and imams have spoken out against the festival, claiming that homosexuality is immoral and contrary to the Koran.

Today MEPs criticised the violence in Bosnia and reminded the country that respect for LGBT rights is a requirement of countries seeking EU membership.