A Trans Woman Was Killed in Serbia. Then Her Memorial Was Trashed.

18-year-old Noa Milivojev’s body was found in the Serbian capital Belgrade weeks after she went missing.
Noa Milivojev death serbia belgrade trans woman
Noa Milivojev. Photo: TikTok

An 18-year-old transgender woman from Serbia has been found dead after being missing for nearly three weeks. 

Noa Milivojev’s body was found on July 6 in the capital, Belgrade. Local reports say that her body was found cut up and placed in several bags and bins. 

A suspect has been arrested and has reportedly admitted to killing her.

Last night a vigil was held in the city centre to remember Milivojev, but soon after it finished, the memorial was trashed by several men.  


One of Milivojev’s friends – who is also trans and spoke to VICE News on condition of anonymity, because they are scared of a backlash from right-wing groups – said the men were “clearly wanting to be transphobic.”

They added: “There has been so much transphobic hate aimed at Noa since she was found dead. She didn’t deserve any of this. The guys ripped up our trans pride flags, tore apart our flowers, and kicked the candles we’d left.” 

Milivojev last posted on TikTok on June 17 and her friends had been looking for her since then. They said police did not fully investigate her disappearance until there was a push on social media to find her. 

Human rights organisations in the nation are calling for “the most severe punishment” for Milivojev’s killer. In a letter posted online – in response to transphobic media coverage of the killing – they said:

“Although we still do not have official information about the motive for the murder, we hereby draw attention to the fact that violence against trans women is on the rise… We demand that Noa's gender identity is respected, and that her photos before the transition and her old name are not published,” the letter said.

Serbia has a mixed history with LGBTQ rights. While trans people can legally transition, and same-sex sexual activity is legal in the country – the current prime minister, Ana Brnabić, is openly gay – LGBTQ people still face serious discrimination. 


Last year, authorities blocked EuroPride – a landmark event in Europe’s LGBTQ calendar. The roster of Pride events had just started in the Serbian capital when a last-minute police ban stopped the planned parade from taking place. It wasn’t really a surprise though – there had been weeks of anti-LGBTQ protests in the nation, and the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, said that EuroPride should be called off, out of fears of violent right-wing attacks. 

“Serbia doesn’t have the political will to tackle transphobia or homophobia,” said Marko Mihailović, a Belgrade-based LGBTQ activist who was involved in EuroPride 2022. 

He told VICE News: “Noa didn’t deserve this – and it just shows how dangerous Serbia is for LGBTQ people. All LGBTQ activists here deal with hate – I’ve been dealing with hate for years – but most cases of hate crime aren’t even reported, so we barely know what actually happens here.”

“When I got told about the brutality of her murder, I was outraged. Then the memorial was trashed and it made me even more angry. Seeing them take her dignity away, even after death, I’m unable to process it.” 

Asked what people outside of Serbia can do to help, Mihailović seemed deflated. 

“So many LGBTQ people here feel trapped, and they feel like things won’t change.” he said. “We’re trying to fight, but we need help. We’re not winning right now. We’re nowhere near equality or safety.”