Several incidents of anti-LGBT violence in Kosovo over the weekend has prompted condemnatory responses from both the Kosovo government and the U.S. Embassy there.
In the capital city of Pristina on Saturday, a mob of 20 men brandishing clubs attacked a launch party for LGBT magazine Kosovo 2.0‘s inaugural sex issue. The New Civil Rights Movement reports that the men destroyed a set and beat up a male member of the magazine staff. Video of the attack can be seen above.
Amidst their broken set, Kosovo 2.0’s staff and guests continued with their event and had a dance party scheduled for later that night, however, the assailants had promised to return and arrived as a mob of over 100 to protest the festivities.
The magazine cancelled the party and police escorted attendees home in small groups. In a statement after Friday’s incidents, the Kosovo Ministry of European Integration claimed, “Extremism of such kind is not a native product but imported from other societies and inspired from similar events in neighbouring countries.”
Then on Sunday night, NCRM reports seven men attacked members of LGBT non-government organization Libertas. En route to a party held by Libertas, a young woman was beaten and injured by several men. She was later taken to the police station to give a statement, though no arrests have yet been made.
Monday morning the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo invoked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement, saying “the rights of LGBT community members are human rights like any other, and must be protected and never forgotten or ignored. Regardless of one’s personal opinions or beliefs, no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”
The Embassy also pledged to work with the Kosovo government and “all other like-minded communities to advance the human rights of all Kosovo’s people.”