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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Threats to journos over gay festival

We carried a a post on 2 September about Muslims moaning (surprise, surprise!) that a gay festival due to be held today in Bosnia would coincide with their Ramadan observations.

Not that it would interfere with their Ramadan observations, merely be held during the month of Ramadan.

Now, journalists in Bosnia are worried because there have been threats, and they’re taking them seriously. The journalists have written what a story by AFP (Agence France-Presse) quotes as “unbiased and ethical” stories about the Sarajevo Queer Festival.

The journos suspect members of the majority Muslim population are behind the threats.

The threats have been sent to three radio stations and an independent magazine, and the country’s journalists’ association says, “Letters containing open and very serious threats are an attack on personal safety of the employees of these media outlets as well as safety of their family members and their property.”

The story continues:

The association requested that police identify the persons behind letters sent to IFM Student Radio, BH Radio 1, Radio Sarajevo and the Dani magazine and publish their names.

Announcement by gay and lesbian rights group Association Q that it was organising the Queer Festival has run into a storm of criticism, particularly upsetting the Muslim majority as it will fall during the holy month of Ramadan.

Many others, including members of various ethnic political parties, have gone as far as declaring homosexuality an illness and its behaviour deviant.

Such statements have been accompanied by a broader hate campaign, with posters declaring “Death to Homos” appearing in the capital and a torrent of abuse on Internet forums.

They have been met by condemnation and calls for tolerance from rights groups like Amnesty International and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The police were preparing special security measures for the festival labeled a “high risk” event.

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