60 injured as LGBT Pride event turns violent in Montenegro

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There were violent scenes in Montenegro at the weekend with far-right protesters clashing with LGBT campaigners at a Pride march, leading to many arrests and injuries.

Police said about 20 of the injured were officers, and the remaining 40 were from “hooligan groups”.

About 60 of the estimated 1,500 extremists who took part in the riots were arrested, police said.

The violence occurred when the attackers tried to break through police lines to reach those taking part in the Pride march in Podgorica.

March organiser Danijel Kalezic said the police protection allowed about 150 LGBT activists to walk peacefully through the city on Sunday.

“As of today, gay people are no longer invisible in Montenegro,” Mr Kalezic said. “From today, these streets are ours as well.”

In July, a Pride event in Montenegro descended into violence after bottles and rocks were thrown at those taking part.

Pride marches are seen as a key test of Montenegro’s commitment to human rights as it seeks to join the European Union.

In a survey last year, 71% of Montenegrins said they believed homosexuality was an illness and 80% said it should be kept private.

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