Thousands join 'historic' EuroPride march in Belgrade

STORY: Rightist and church groups demonstrated against the event, with clashes breaking out between some counter-protesters and police. According to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, the country's first openly gay leader, 10 officers were slightly injured and 64 protesters were arrested.

One participant from Turkey shrugged off concerns of violence and told Reuters she felt safe at the march, amid a heavy police presence. While another, from Denmark, said everyone should enjoy the same rights in a democratic country like Serbia and was there to show support for the LGBTIQ+ community.

The march marked the end of the EuroPride week, an event staged in a different European city each year. In a statement, the European Pride Organisers Association noted this was the first EuroPride outside the European Economic Area, calling it "an historic EuroPride, and the most important in our 30 year history.”

Citing security concerns amid strong protests by nationalists, authorities earlier banned the march. According to the organisers, it was not until Saturday morning that the prime minister announced it could go ahead, on a shortened route proposed by them.

Diplomats such as the U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill, and the European parliament's special rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, also took part in the march.