Swedish NGOs: Serbian Church and Society is violent and homophobic

11.10.2012 Branko Ilic , Serbian FBReporter



In a statement for Swedish Radio General Secretary of the Swedish NGO Robert Hårdh “defenders of civil rights,” stated harsh assessment on reviews  at the expense of Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian society, accusing them of extreme  homophobic and violence against minorities.

“Robert Hårdh – Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders


He has a Master of Laws degree from Uppsala University, specialising in human rights. Robert has been engaged in human rights work since the beginning of the 90’s and started working for Civil Rights Defenders as a human rights lawyer in 1999. In 2000 he was appointed as the head of the organisation. Founded in 1982, Civil Rights Defenders is an independent, international expert organisation based in Sweden that defends people’s civil and political rights and empowers human rights defenders at risk.

Robert Hårdh is also Board member of the Expo foundation, which is a privately-owned research foundation founded in 1995 with the aim of studying and mapping anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and racist tendencies in society.

In the morning program of the first Swedish Radio channel on Monday, 1 October was broadcast report on this year’s Belgrade “Pride”, which is planned for the final parade for the sixth October. The following are the interviewed Stina Magnuson Bur from NGOs Woman to Woman (Kvinna till Kvinna) and Robert Hårdh, general secretary of the organization Civil Right Defenders.

Stina Magnusson Buur was a bit disoriented, stating that Novi Sad is located in the south of Serbia, gave her impressions from the opening of this year’s Pride which began on Sunday evening. According to the words of Burov, evening has passed quietly and without incident, although not providing any numbers. She also stated that LGBT people are discriminated in Serbia, that the country’s general government expressed homophobia and that LGBT people in Vojvodina previously enjoyed more rights than in the rest of Serbia.

Robert Hårdh, General Secretary of the Swedish NGO Defenders of civil rights for his part said that the Serbian society is most homophobic in the Western Balkans. He offered a the harsh condemnation on account of the majority of the people in Serbia for his views, because there are not only “70 percent of the population believes that homosexuality is a disease,” but that “58 percent of the population believes that the government should actively fight against homosexuality.”

To the question of why there are radio personality such prejudice against homosexuals in Serbia just  Hårdh said as the reason for the termination of the war and towards a lack of options for people to get killed for ethnic reasons so that violence, which in his view is widely accepted, “impunity” directed at LGBT people as well as the Roma and Albanians.
Particular attention is aroused and  Hårdh attack on the Serbian Orthodox Church, which was mentioned in the context of football hooligan rampage. Upon request by the leader to clarify the Secretary General of Civil Rights Defenders, said that the Church “calls to the fact that this discrimination against gays continues,” adding that she “was always so negative forces during the Balkan wars in the church was a very negative factor in this context. ”


Statement of the Secretary-General “defender of civil rights” for Swedish radio, you can listen here:


On the statement the Secretary-General Defender of civil rights organizations reacted  Veritas Pax Justitia from Stockholm.

-It is scandalous that the high representative of one organization that deals with human rights, in this way, through public service discredits a people and attributed it to a violent and uncivilized. It is not clear how the LGBT people in Serbia to help the alleged fighters for the rights of the majority of their people in Serbia are described as violent, told for the representative organization Balkanpuls Drago Drangel


– What is your view towards maintaining Pride  in Belgrade?


– We believe that everyone has the right to fight for their rights, whether it be about the LGBT people in Serbia and the Serbs in Sweden. Fighting for the rights of members of a community should not, however, be conducted through collective slander in some other community. Appearances like Hårdh should be condemned and it is very counterproductive because of damage to the interests of LGBT-people in Serbia and in the interests of many people of Serbian origin in Sweden, said Drangel.


Swedish NGO Defenders of of civil rights was previously called “Swedish Helsinki Committee” and the name change was made a few years ago, according to the activist organization from one “tactical reasons.” On the website of this NGO can be ascertained that “operates in regions where human rights are least respected” and that has the most employees in Serbia.


Civil rights veterans are one of the organizers of this year’s “Pride” and as previously said its program director Goran Miletic Serbian government leaders Aleksandar Vucic and Ivica Dacic “need to ensure safety,” the participants of the event.


Sourse : Balkanpuls.com

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