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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 5 PM), February 3, 1997

    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1997 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 5 PM


    On Monday Serbian Patriarch Pavle urged citizens to show restraint
    in the light of recent clashes between police and demonstrators.
    His open letter said: ``Last night's events were an indication of
    the worst that could happen. I therefore... beg and entreat the
    embittered people... to refrain from any clashes, and those with
    arms to safeguard law and order rather than this government which,
    to our misfortune, does not know what it is doing.''


    On Monday more than 30,000 Belgrade University students crossed
    Brankov Bridge, the site of Sunday night's police violence. Police
    were not there to prevent the students from crossing the bridge
    and they marched unhindered to New Belgrade before returning to
    the city centre.

    A delegation of students was supposed to have met earlier on
    Monday with the Serbian Public Prosecutor, but he refused for the
    second time this week to see them.


    On Monday British Foreign Minister Malcom Rifkind condemned the
    use of violence and force by riot police to stop peaceful
    demonstrations on Sunday night.

    Mr. Rifkind added that Serbian authorities must allow opposition
    supporters to protest freely. He said that the only way to solve
    the current crisis was for the Serbian President Slobodan
    Milosevic to recognize the opposition victories in the November
    17th local elections without further delay, the newsagency Beta

    On Monday the Association of Independant Trade Unions
    'Nezavisnost' said the only possible reponse to the violence of
    the regime was to call a general strike. The 'Nezavisnost'
    statement stressed that no democratic change would be possible as
    long as the current regime stayed in power, newsagency Beta
    reported on Monday.

    The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HCHR) in Serbia has
    soundly condemned the brutality of the Serbian regime against
    demonstrators and the persistent refusal to recognize the results
    of the local elections, a HCHR statement said on Monday. The HCHR
    announced tht it would inform the international public and the
    relevant governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide
    of what was happening here and demand that the pressure on the
    Serbian regime be stepped up. The HCHR also stressed that the
    latest bout of police violence in Belgrade showed that the regime
    intends to solve the electoral crisis violently.

    The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS)
    demanded on Monday that Serbian Interior Minister Zoran Sokolovic
    resign because of Sunday night's brutal police assaults against
    journalists, Beta reported on Monday.


    BK Television news editor Srdjan Djuric told FoNet on Monday that
    a camera crew filming Sunday night's clash was beaten, their tapes
    seized and the camera broken and left in pieces on the pavement.
    The crew members were taken to the Belgrade Trauma Centre, and
    discharged after treatment. At New Belgrade, near Brankov Bridge,
    another camera assistant was beaten and his tape confiscated.


    Miodrag Perisic, vice-president of the Democratic Party told BBC
    Radio on Monday that Zajedno believed the orders for Sunday
    night's police assault against demonstrators came from the
    Yugoslav United Left (JUL), lead by Mirjana Markovic, wife of
    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. He said that new riot police
    forces had arrived from Kosovo and that Zajedno believed they had
    clear orders to attack. Mr Perisic said he believed that the
    crisis would worsen and called on all citizens throughout Serbia
    to join the protests and show solidarity with Belgraders.


    Zajedno leader Vuk Draskovic told a media conference on Monday
    that peaceful protests would continue, but that the evening
    protest gatherings would be cancelled for the safety of the
    citizens. He announced that Zajedno's list of demands would be
    extended but gave no further details. Mr. Draskovic his statement
    made on Sunday in which he said that he believed that he believed
    the Gandhi-style protests would stop and people would begin
    responding to police terror with force. He added protests would
    continue to be peaceful, with new impetus given by the police
    intervention. Mr Draskovic said that the only adequate form of
    resistance was mass civil disobedience.


    The Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, is close to being
    indicted by the Hague Tribunal, according to an investigative
    report in the British daily 'The Guardian'.Three people: Marko
    Nicovic, the former Belgrade police chief, Branislav Vakic, a
    former paramilitary and an unidentified member of Milosevic's
    government have claimed that Milosevic had a secret chain of
    command through a small group based at the Interior Ministry,
    which controls the police. At his command men were released from
    prison, armed and sent to join paramilitary units which carried
    out ethnic cleansing and other atrocities. Some of these
    atrocities were carried out under the leadership of three men said
    to be part of Milosevic's secret chain of command: Radan Stojicic,
    [now deputy interior minister] Mihalj Kertes, [currently head of
    customs] and Frank Simatovic. Hague prosecutor Louise Arbour says
    that the evidence is not sufficient for an indictment yet, but the
    Guardian says that evidence linking the Ministry of the Interior
    to war crimes is very significant because it is impossible for
    Milosevic to deny his responsibility for its actions as he did
    with the army. The paper comments that more evidence is likely to
    emerge as Milosevic's government is in trouble over the protests.

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    Edited by: Steve Agnew

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/

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