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Kristalnacht for the Serbian resistance

Novi Sad, Tuesday - Police swooped on student protesters, opposition youth branch members and journalists in a raid in the Vojvodina capital of Novi Sad today. Twenty-five people were arrested for distributing opposition material in the city centre. Several domestic and international journalists were also arrested. All those detained were released late this afternoon.

Earlier this morning police had arrested the president of the Vojvodina League of Social Democrats, Nenad Canak, as he travelled to Pozarevac for the opposition rally scheduled for today. Canak was detained by police for six hours on the pretext of checking his identity. The president of Vojvodina's Democratic Reform Party, Mile Isakov, was visited this morning by police and interrogated about his connection with the Pozarevac rally.

A senior official of the Democratic Party, Milan Visic, was arrested in his apartment in the southern Serbian city of Nis early today. Police in the city also arrested two Otpor activists this afternoon. The student movement called on all citizens of Nis to demonstrate in front of the police station.

An activist from the student movement Otpor was also detained by police in Novi Sad for questioning. After his release, Vladimir Pavlov told Radio B2-92 that he had been questioned about the rally in Pozarevac.

Meanwhile, in Pozarevac itself, police arrested a number of journalists and Otpor overnight and early today. Two journalists from Belgrade's Danas, a reporter from the independent Beta news agency and photographers working for Danas and French media were among those detained. The wife of the Beta reporter, Mile Veljkovic, told B2-92 today that police had searched their house from midnight to 3.00 a.m., finally arresting Veljkovic without explanation and seizing eighty pages of written material and the hard disc from his computer.

A France Press correspondent in the central Serbian city of Kragujevac, Miroslav Filipovic, was also arrested last night.

The Serbian Renewal Movement, in a statement this afternoon, described the wave of arrests across Serbia as showing that the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, Mirjana Markovic and Vojislav Seselj was in fear and panic about the coming democratic changes in Serbia.

Source: B92

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