Serbian far-right group claims gays are CIA agents

Gay Straight Alliance is suing far-right SNP NaÅ¡i after it put them on a ‘blacklist’ of ‘foreign agents’ who are involved in crime and want to break up Serbia

Serbian far-right group claims gays are CIA agents
22 January 2013

Serbian gay rights campaigners are suing a far-right organization after it claimed they were being indirectly funded by America’s CIA.

The Serbian National Movement NaÅ¡i (SNP NaÅ¡i; NaÅ¡i means ‘ours’ in English) put Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) on a ‘blacklist’ of ‘foreign agents’.

The on-going hate campaign peaked on 13 January when they displayed posters in public spaces in several Serbian cities, naming those on the blacklist.

But GSA (Gaj Strejt Alijansa in Serbian) says it is made up of ‘honest and uncorrupted people who love their country’ and want to strengthen Serbia.

They are now taking SNP Naši to the courts to get one million dinars ($12,000 €8,500) compensation. And they want the public prosecutor to pursue criminal charges too.

A GSA statement released today (22 January) says: ‘During an inflammatory campaign in the past couple of months, SNP NaÅ¡i has stated a lot of shameless lies about GSA and its work, by which SNP NaÅ¡i consciously and in the crudest way tried to deceive the Serbian and international public.’

Their ‘blacklist’ named a range of organizations that SNP NaÅ¡i claimed were working against the Serbian Constitution and Serbian laws and advocating the fragmentation of Serbian territory, ie the independence of Kosovo.

They also claimed the organizations – mostly human rights groups and media – are involved in organized crime, are foreign agents financed by the US, involved in spying and represent pro-American interests.

SNP NaÅ¡i issued a statement on 7 December last year claiming: ‘All organizations and media from the blacklists are financed by American government through NED [National Endowment for Democracy] foundation directed by the CIA and the White House.’

In their statement GSA respond: ‘Naturally, GSA does not think that being financed by NED or any other foundation automatically means that somebody is a foreign agent.

‘But GSA would like to emphasize it has never been financed by NED as SNP NaÅ¡i claim, it has never asked for funds from this foundation, nor has it established contacts or talked with its representatives concerning financing and cooperation.

‘Furthermore, neither USAID or the US government have ever financed Alliance, and so the claims of SNP NaÅ¡i are completely false.’

They say they do cooperate with the American and other foreign embassies, international and LGBT organizations but feel this is useful to society.

The Alliance explains its money comes from private donations, the Serbian government and the same places that Serbia raises money itself; the European Union and member states.

They insist volunteers have to do a lot of its work due to a shortage of funding. The statement counters public perceptions that non-governmental organizations are cash-rich, fed by foreign donors.

The Alliance also denies having a view on Kosovo.

The statement says: ‘GSA has never, since its inception, had any sort of policy regarding Kosovo, and there is no official statement or attitude of GSA that is related to the status of Kosovo or similar topics.

‘GSA deal exclusively with promotion and protection of human rights of Serbian citizens, especially human rights of LGBT people, as well as the reduction of violence and discrimination.’

They add they are is lawfully registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency and act within the constitution.

The statement continues: ‘For the lies that they have stated about GSA, and we believe about other organizations and media as well, SNP NaÅ¡i have received a wide media coverage, which was not the case with their previous activities.

‘The damage done to Gay Straight Alliance in an attempt to destroy its reputation is therefore enormous and so GSA will seek protection in the court.’

Lazar Pavlovic, acting president of the GSA, told Gay Star News SNP NaÅ¡i’s campaign against them had done damage. But he believes Serbians’ attitudes towards LGBT people was improving and would continue to get better in the long term.

He also called on the public prosecutor to take legal action against the far-right extremists.

GSA lobbies politicians for improved legislation for LGBT people, supports victims of discrimination, produces an annual report on gay people in Serbia and measures public attitudes on sexuality.



No thumbnail available

6 top tips to help you save when sending money abroad

GSN foreign exchange partners, Moneycorp, offer free expert help and better rates so your cash goes further
No thumbnail available

Why mud baths and mountain bikes are top travel trends

Healthy ageing, fitness-plus-culture, male pampering and adveture trips for women – the latest travel trends
Caitlyn and Kris Jenner pose for first selfie together and it is majorly beautiful
No thumbnail available

Tory MP says gay people do not want to get married

Tim Loughton, former children's minister, has said he believes marriage should stay between a man and a woman
Gay Games 2014 - Cleveland? Ready!

Gay Games 2014 - Cleveland? Ready!

The ninth Gay Games will be held in the US state of Ohio
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay legislation HB 4105 is abandoned in Texas

‘Chubbing’ by Democratic politicians – engaging in prolonged debate around other bills – meant the legislation could not be approved before its midnight deadline
No thumbnail available

ESPN radio hosts blasted for saying trans shouldn't play sport

Gay rights website Outsports calls for suspension of sports DJs Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin over transphobic rant
No thumbnail available

Lesbian host Jane Velez-Mitchell loses show amid massive layoffs at CNN and HLN

Is first major talent to get pink slip - nearly 1,500 expected to lose jobs
No thumbnail available

School gay cards open 'can of worms' say parents

Support cards for LGBT students at a Canadian elementary school has sparked outrage from parents
No thumbnail available

Toronto's gay water polo team are taking on the world

Inspired by Hasselhoff, Oprah, and RuPaul, this is gay sport as you have probably never seen it before.