The Banjaluka Police Department issued a decision banning the public gathering organized by the associations "Geto" from Banjaluka and "BH Pride Parade" from Sarajevo, which was supposed to be held on Saturday in Banjaluka.
“The Police Administration of Banjaluka made the decision after analyzing all the security aspects and circumstances of this public gathering, and it was assessed that there is a real possibility that there may be a greater threat to people and property,” the institution said.
The police appealed to the citizens to respect legal regulations and not to endanger others with their behaviour, “bearing in mind that in recent days there have been many negative reactions regarding this public gathering and that a number of threats have been sent to the organizer and participants of this gathering.”
The goal of the gathering the activists planned was to express support for journalists in the regard to announcements that the RS could criminalise defamation, as well as a protest over the events of a recent gathering where a rainbow flag was ripped out of the hands of a participant.
A total of 13 associations condemned the announcement of this event and asked the mayor of Banja Luka and the president of Republika Srpska to ban the gatherings.
“I'm against that right away, just so you know. Any such gatherings. I expect that the Republika Srpska authorities will prevent it from taking place in any open or closed spaces. On what basis? Based on our freedoms. Why would that upset anyone? That's because they disturb others,” said Milorad Dodik.