Statement in defense of rights defenders Women In Black - Belgrade and founder Stasa Zajovic

July 28, 2014

The individuals and organizations undersigned note with concern the increasing violence against the women’s peace organisation Women in Black -Belgrade, and in particular against its founder, Stasa Zajovic, who has been targeted repeatedly in the past few months by extreme-right political groups and individuals, as well as harassed by the police and justice system in her country. 

We will remain alert and closely monitor Serbian authorities’ actions to ensure Stasa Zajovic’s safety.

Les individus et organisations sous-signés expriment leur inquiétude devant la violence croissante à laquelle fait face l'organisation de femmes pour la paix: Femmes en Noir - Belgrade, et en particulier sa fondatrice Stasa Zajovic, qui a été visée de façon répétée au cours des derniers mois par des individus et des groupes politiques d'extrême droite, en même temps qu'elle était harcelée par la police et la justice de son pays.

Leaders of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) today expressed support for the Serbian government’s recent actions to stand up for basic rights of gay-rights demonstrators. "We applaud and support the Serbian authorities for seeking to protect the fundamental rights of those in the Belgrade gay-rights parade to express their views,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Helsinki Commission Chairman. “From the statements of senior Serbian officials condemning the violence instigated by right-wing groups to the efforts of the police to stop it and arrest the perpetrators, the official response has been the correct one." Update on: Serbia: Attack on LGBT activists at the headquarters of Women in Black

The peace group Women in Black announced today that last night around 1:30 am, two young men invaded the organization's headquarters and with a hammer attacked men and women activists in the kitchen. This incident took place just before the holding of the Pride Parade in Belgrade, which indicates that  homophobia is the motive of the attackers, a statement declared. "That it was not a matter of a random incident was proven by the young men entering the room loudly calling for 'faggots' among those present, and looking for a fight," the Women in Black statement added.

Religious women make change happen, whether it’s by seeking peace or inciting war. Strong beliefs can inspire social justice or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join the International Museum of Women as they explore the relationship between faith and politics in the lives of women around the world. 

Dah Theater, which has crafted street performances and theatrical plays protesting militarism, nationalism, gender inequality, and the clericalization of Serbian society for over 15 years, has had their offices ransacked and property stolen.
"We intend to bring attention to the constant abuse of religion, tradition, national and cultural heritage – all for political purposes, in order to gain legitimacy and political power..."
An Attack on a PACE Flag – An Attack on Women Defenders of Human Rights
Male and female activists from throughout Serbia participated in the Women in Black “Women, Peace, and Activism’ seminar held May 18-20, 2007 in Totovo Selo in Vojvodina.
Join the WiB silent vigil tomorrow (June 7th, 2007) at 4:30 at The Square of the Republic in Belgrade.
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