On Sunday 8 September, the first ever Pride March in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina took place in the capital city of Sarajevo.
More than a thousand people – including members from the LGBT community, opposition political parties, human rights activists from neighbouring countries as well as famous Bosnian artists – marched to support the protection of rights of the country’s LGBTIQ community.
Despite many calls for cancelling the Pride March, pressure from top politicians and concerns over security, the event took place in a peaceful way. However, a series of organisations defending “traditional family values” held counter-rallies to show their disapproval.
Prior to the March, Edin Forto, the Sarajevo Cantonal leader from the ALDE Party member Naša Stranka announced full support and cooperation of his office in the preparations for the March. In a statement he said, "I will do everything in my power to ensure that all its citizens are treated equally, that they have freedom of assembly and police protection". Forto participated in the parade together with other Naša Stranka members.
Up until now, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been the only country in the region that hasn’t held a public Pride event due to being traditionally a conservative country. This inaugural Pride March is an important step towards increased tolerance of minority groups and the protection of fundamental rights of all citizens without any discrimination.