German gay rights activist in critical condition after brutal assault in Serbian capital

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A German activist has life-threatening injuries, after he was beaten over the head with a glass ashtray following a gay rights conference.

The 27-year-old, whose name has not been released to the press, was severely beaten in the Serbian capital on Saturday after attending a conference hosted by LGBT group Labris.

Dusan Jovanovic, deputy director of the hospital where the man is being treated, said the man has undergone surgery but is still in a “serious condition”.

He suffered internal bleeding and head injuries in the attack.

It is thought that he was set upon by a gang of men who screamed about “foreigners” in Belgrade, following the gay rights conference.

German ambassador Heinz Georg Wilhelm has been monitoring the case, and said: “He is awake, so that is already very good but it is still early to say something.”

“The doctors told us that the first 24 hours you can’t say very much, but he is awake and that is positive.”

“If it’s true that the attacker said that he does not want foreigners in Serbia, that gives a new xenophobic dimension to the whole incident.”

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said: “We will not allow this kind of things to remain unpunished, and we will arrest the German citizen’s attackers”.

Belgrade Pride, which is usually banned due to threats of violence, was earlier this year cancelled due to flooding.

The event, which often leads to confrontations between anti-gay groups, police and marchers, has been officially banned every year since 2010.

 

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