At least two people have been injured after someone threw a canister of tear gas into a Croatian night club hosting a party for the LGBTQ community, the Associated Press reports.
Police are investigating the attack, which took place early Sunday morning at the Super Super club in the capital city of Zagreb. One witness told Vecernji List daily that he was trampled as he tried to get to the stairs.
“Zagreb Pride demands from the police to carry out fast and effective investigation and to identify and bring to justice those responsible for this awful physical assault on the citizens,” the group that organizes Croatia’s Pride celebration wrote in a statement, “as well as to take all appropriate measures which will ensure peace, safety and human rights of LGBTIQ persons in Zagreb and Croatia.”
The group called the attack “a violent act of hatred” and called out the government for remaining silent in the face of increasing hatred from far-right radicals.
“Over the past few months we have been facing the escalation of hatred in public spaces fueled by the increasingly aggressive and louder discourse of the radical clerical right-wing directed against the constitutional values of Croatia, supported by a tactic approval of the Croatian Government,” Zagreb Pride wrote. “We have already warned about Government’s lack of appropriate response to the fascist outbursts in relation to the destruction of the memorial plaque in Jasenovac, as well as the silence of the Government in condemning any form of incitement to hatred.”
The night club attack is the most recent in a history of anti-LGBTQ attacks in Croatia. Protestors also used tear gas at Zagreb’s first-ever Pride March in 2002.
“Yesterday´s attack clearly and unequivocally demonstrates the fine line between hatred and violence,” Zagreb Pride said. “Therefore, we invite the Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković, Minister of the Interior Vlaho Orepić as well as Croatian Government to resolutely, loudly and clearly condemn this violent act directed against human rights of LGBTIQ people, Croatian citizens and thereby show that hatred and violence are not the values of our society.”
For their part, Zagreb Pride said they are undeterred.
“We will not surrender or step back in the fight for our human rights!” they wrote. “Justice and love are on our side and we will all proudly march, not only on 10th of June this year at the 16th Zagreb Pride, but also every day outside of our ‘four walls.’ Hatred will never be able to defeat love!”