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Serbian Gay Rights Activists Hold Symbolic Protest

Activists pledged to stage the next march in September 2013.
BELGRADE -- Gay rights activists in Serbia staged a brief symbolic protest after police banned a planned pride march, citing far-right security threats.

Some 20 activists holding rainbow flags gathered outside the Belgrade Media Center and silently held posters pledging to stage the next march in September 2013.

The activists then moved to a nearby theater for an indoor gathering attended by European embassy officials and politicians.

Bridget Olsen, the Swedish minister for European affairs, called on the Serbian government to "show a commitment to respect human and minority rights" if it wants to enter the European Union.

Police in Serbia have banned the parade for the last two years, after a march in 2010 that ended in violent clashes with extremists.

With reporting by AP