Montenegrin gay rights activist seeks refugee status in Canada

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz
Gay-rights supporters carry a rainbow flag as they walk during a Pride March in Podgorica, October 20, 2013. Some 150 supporters of same-sex rights, guarded by almost 2,000 policemen, staged the first Pride March in the Montenegrin capital on Sunday and hailed it as a herald of better times in the small European Union candidate country. REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic (MONTENEGRO - Tags: SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST)

Rocks and firebombs thrown by violent anti-gay protesters showered an LGBT pride March in Montenegro last weekend, and one of the conservative country's most instrumental gay activists couldn't even attend for fear of his life.

Zdravko Cimbaljevic was in Vancouver while his tiny, eastern European country made a brave step toward more rights for gay residents because he fled his home country after attacks and death threats he says his government failed to prosecute.

The 30-year-old activist supported his friends at the rally through Skype while telling media of the horrible treatment that led him to apply for refugee status in Canada this month.

BuzzFeed related one of Cimbaljevic's most disturbing experiences, which took place at Montenegro's first ever gay rally this summer, in the town of Budva. Before the rally he had helped to organize, Cimbaljevic was greeted with a published death notice displayed all over the town's streets, according to BuzzFeed. It announced he would die on the day of the rally.

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[Please be warned, the following quote contains obscene language.]

'With his blown-out ass, we announce that on the day of July 24 2013 in 12 a.m., in front of the Walls of The Old Town Budva, his soul will depart in death, our afflicted and never overfucked brother … ZDRAVKO CIMBALJEVIC. Commemoration of the dearly screwed deceased will be held in former Government building.'

Cimbaljevic attended that rally despite the threats, and endured the violent attack on those who marched in Budva. But the death threats kept coming, and in September, Cimbaljevic left.

He chose Vancouver, the Globe and Mail reported, a city he'd visited in 2011 when Pride parade organizers invited him as an international grand marshal for the event. Cimbaljevic told the Globe and Mail he was sad to leave his country, even though most of his family has disowned him, because here, at least, he is safer.

He awaits a hearing about his refugee claim on Nov. 22, according to the Globe and Mail.

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