Category Archives: Labris activities

4 LESBIANS CRUELLY ATTACKED IN A CAFÉ IN BELGRADE

Report after the Press conference in Media Center Belgrade

http://www.mc.rs/u-beogradu-napadnute-i-pretucene-cetiri-lezbejke.4.html?eventId=9899

Saturday evening 26-27 of September 2015, after the book-reading public event Dragoslava Barzut, a lesbian writer and feminist activist went the nearest café with three other lesbian friends from the lesbian football team. They were relaxed & singing in the small cafe with live music, filled with around 40 people altogether. Around 1am after midnight one guy came in and started to beat one by one of them systematically, screaming and cursing ‘Lesbians Lesbians!’.

Dragoslava Barzut, writer and activist of Labris

Dragoslava Barzut, writer and activist of Labris

As a writer, Labris activist and a lesbian, I feel morally responsible to public condemn the assault on three of my friends and me. I am thinking now of all friends and parents, who are having a hard time at the moment because of my sexual orientation, but today I choose to love myself.

Three of them were injured in this attack, one tooth broken, eye damaged, one fell down on her head, leg damaged. One was hiding behind the fridge. When they were little back to sense, Dragoslava Barzut called in the police and in the mealtime another men came to beat them up, screaming more words against Lesbians. This one had highly aggressive energy and then the waitress, for whom Dragoslava noted is ‘thin and small’, stood in between the raged man and the lesbians to stop him! She then grabbed the lesbians and locked them in the small WC. That’s how the violence stopped. While they were locked the police came and took the notes and brought two of them to the Urgent center for medical check up.

The hypothesis is that the violent men are part of the violence football fun clubbers “Rad” that were already known for homophobic attacks – because during the evening they sang their songs with the live music. Important fact is that Dragoslava Barzut was leading the Campaign Against Homophobia in Sport, and was on this same place in Belgrade Press Center last year talking about it.

On the press conference the lawyer from YUCOM organisation said they will file a case using the law on hate crime, that was passed in Serbia in 2012, but there is not one verdict using it.

After the press conference today, with small number of media and about twenty activists of lesbian, gay, trans and queer community from Belgrade, some of us lesbians were commenting that this is first so cruel physical attack on lesbians in the public space in this country. Beating lesbians=women in public is not gentlemanlike, usually the violent men beat men. But analyzing the many comments on social media lesbians came to conclusion that the modern criminal men understand that lesbians are not (classic) women (!!) so they beat us more then ever before

​! What would Monique Wittig say about it? (“Lesbians are not women “)

At the end of very emotional speech in the Press conference in Belgrade today, Dragoslava Barzut said:

“As a writer, activist of Labris and a Lesbian I think now of all my friends and family members who are suffering because of my sexual orientation, but I choose to love myself today. I feel moral responsibility to condemn the lesbophobic attack on my friends and me.”

​​The press conference ended in long applause of solidarity from the lesbian gay trans and queer community for the four brave lesbians who had to endure the violence for all of us who could have been on their place, to thank them for their courage, fear and visions that are ours ​​​too.

Lepa Mlađenović

Meeting With Commissioner for Protection of Equality

A meeting between representatives of the Coalition Against Discrimination and the Coalition For Access to Justice, on one side, and Brankica Janković, Commissioner for Protection of Equality, on the other, was held August 25th, 2015, in the premises of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC)


Representatives of these two Coalitions presented their work in the area of the fight against discrimination. The Commissioner informed the representatives of the civil society about the Commissioner’s plans for the forthcoming period. During the meeting, the participants discussed future modes of cooperation between this institution and the two coalitions, focusing on the need to organize public hearings in the National Assembly, during which they would draw the attention of the institutions and the general public to the specific problems of the groups discriminated against in Serbia, and offer solutions for overcoming systemic problems relating to discrimination.

Jelena Vidic from Gayten, Zorica Mrsevic and Jovanka Todorovic (Labris)

Jelena Vidic from Gayten, Zorica Mrsevic and Jovanka Todorovic (Labris)

Representatives of the Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, Civil Rights Defenders, Praxis, the Regional Minority Centre, Labris (the Organization for Lesbian Human Rights), Gayten LGBT, the Association of Disabled Students, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, CHRIS (the network of Committees for Human Rights in Serbia) and the HLC attended the meeting.

The Coalition for Access to Justice comprises the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, Civil Rights Defenders, CHRIS (the Network of Committees for Human Rights in Serbia), the Humanitarian Law Center, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, the Sandžak Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, NUNS and Praxis.

The Coalition Against Discrimination comprises the Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, Civil Rights Defenders, Labris (the Organization for Lesbian Human Rights), CHRIS (the Network of Committees for Human Rights in Serbia), the Association of Disabled Students, Gayten LGBT, PRAXIS and the Regional Minority Centre.

Jovanka Todorovic, presented current and future activities of Labris. She pointed out the importance of legal regulation of same-sex partnerships in Serbia and reiterated the need for urgent adoption of the Model of the law about registered same-sex partnerships.

SUPPORT THE CHANGE!

Remind the Ministry of Education and other relevant institutions of their obligation – Demand them change and exclude discriminatory content against LGBT people in high school textbooks!


Do you know that 9 Biology, Psychology and Medicine high school textbooks contain explicit discriminatory content in 18 places, which are not only related to human rights violations but also are breaches of constitutional and other laws in Serbia?

Log in to make your statement against this discrimination:
http://www.diskriminacijaudzbenicima.org.rs

Your call of appeal will be directly sent to 30 relevant institutions.

In 2011, within its mandate, Commissioner for the protection of Equality formed the working group for analysis of primary and secondary school curriculums and teaching materials and issued the Recommendations that were sent out to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, to the National Education Council of the Republic of Serbia and to the Department of improving the quality of education in order to remove such discriminatory content from these materials and practices, while promoting tolerance and respect for human rights.

Those Recommendations were never applied!

In accordance with what is stated above and thanks to the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia, Labris initiated a new analysis of the content of these high school textbooks in order to see if there were any changes regarding the discriminatory content.
The analysis was carried out through qualitative content analysis from a sample of 26 textbooks for Psychology, Biology and Medicine, which were used in the 2013/2014 school year.
The Ministry of Education is a signatory of the Strategy and Action Plan for the implementation of strategies for the prevention and protection against discrimination for the period from 2014 to 2018 and are obligated to fulfill the planned activities and changes – which has not been done.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO URGENTLY CHANGE THE DISCRIMINATORY CONTENT?

Because:

    • It is in violation of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia
    • The content is not in accordance with facts provided by the science community
    • It supports the stereotypes and prejudices in society towards LGBT people and indirectly encourages violence and discrimination against LGBT people
    • Young LGBT people are in a sensitive period of growing up and are in adolescence. They are often in emotional pain and socially excluded as sick and socially deviant due to such discrimination. Based on indicators from various studies, young people, because of rejection and/or the misunderstandings of the family and society related to their sexual orienation or gender identity, are:

about 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide

about 5.9 times more prone to depression

  • The discrimination causes difficulty in the work of teachers who work in high schools, whose mission is to work on tolerance and respect of differences and the prevention of violence in schools.