Serbian Gay Activist Andrej Obradović Hospitalized During Hunger Strike

19-year-old Serbian gay activist Andrej Obradović hospitalized after 5-day hunger strike protesting alleged police brutality; case highlights LGBTQ discrimination and concerns about police accountability.

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Muhammad Jawad
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Serbian Gay Activist Andrej Obradović Hospitalized During Hunger Strike

Serbian Gay Activist Andrej Obradović Hospitalized During Hunger Strike

Andrej Obradović, a 19-year-old gay activist in Serbia, has been admitted to the Emergency Center in Belgrade after his health deteriorated during a five-day hunger strike. Obradović began the hunger strike outside the Serbian Parliament on April 12th to protest alleged police brutality against him and his roommate during a search of their apartment in mid-February.

According to Obradović and the organization 'Da se zna', which represents him, police officers subjected the two men to hours of torture and abuse, both in the apartment and at the police station, after noticing LGBTQ symbols in their home. The Ministry of Interior Affairs stated that an investigation has been launched and that the officers will be sanctioned if they exceeded their authority.

Obradović's complaint against the police officers was initially rejected, but the case is now being reviewed by a second-instance Commission for Complaints. He has been called to give a statement at the First Basic Prosecutor's Office and says he will end his hunger strike if he receives indications that disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against the responsible officers.

The Protector of Citizens has initiated a control procedure over the Ministry of Interior Affairs regarding the allegations and has visited Obradović during his protest. Citizens and activists have also shown support for Obradović, bringing him water and roses.

Why this matters: This case highlights ongoing issues of discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community in Serbia. It also raises concerns about police accountability and the effectiveness of complaint procedures in addressing alleged misconduct.

Obradović's mother, Sanja Malinović, says her son is currently under observation in the Emergency Center, where he was taken after feeling unwell following an interview at the Prosecutor's Office. She states that Andrej does not want to end the hunger strike and plans to continue it after being released. Malinović emphasizes that if something happens to Andrej, the state will be held responsible and has threatened to address the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

Key Takeaways

  • 19-year-old Serbian gay activist Andrej Obradović on hunger strike since April 12
  • Protesting alleged police brutality and abuse during apartment search in February
  • Obradović's complaint initially rejected, now being reviewed by second-instance commission
  • Obradović hospitalized after health deteriorated, refuses to end hunger strike
  • Case highlights discrimination, police accountability issues for LGBTQ community in Serbia