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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 6 PM), December 11, 1996

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 6 PM


    US Deputy State Secretary for Human Rights, John Shattuck,
    announced new diplomatic measures by the US administration towards
    Milosevic and his regime in a program prepared by the satellite
    Worldnet television:

    ``The US is not only condemning the fundamental violation of human
    rights we see in the case of the invalidation of clearly free and
    fair elections by a court system and President Milosevic's
    mistreatment of those who are bravely protesting day after day in
    the streets, but we are also increasingly isolating President
    Milosevic and his regime. We have refused to meet with him in the
    recent past. My colleague John Kornblum, who has been meeting with
    him, has declined to do so [now]. I was, last week, at the Council
    of Europe in Strasbourg and met with 43 ambassadors from Council
    of Europe states and sought their support for denying any
    political or economic benefits to Serbia or to President Milosevic
    and his regime. We are also actively considering the possibility
    of sanctions on Belgrade through the UN Security Council. That
    would be a very difficult step, but clearly if this continued
    refusal to recognize basic democratic values and democratic
    elections continues, then the US will step up the pressure on
    President Milosevic and his regime.''


    EU Parliament condemned today the decision made by the Serbian
    authorities to invalidate the results of the local elections of
    November 17, demanding that the EU reject Serbian request for
    trade preferentials, reported Reuters. In their stern statement,
    the EU MPs expressed grave concern about the developments in FR
    Yugoslavia, including the authorities' continuing pressure on the
    independent media there. The statement called on the Belgrade
    authorities to respect the electoral results and launch an
    impartial investigation into the alleged irregularities in the
    electoral process.


    US State Secretary Warren Christopher warned Serbian President,
    Slobodan Milosevic that the pursuit of his ``repressive,
    undemocratic position'' would destroy his attempts at establishing
    closer relations with the West, reported Reuters. In an interview
    to the US television station CBS, Christopher said that the
    Serbian President is ``turning his back on the chance to join the
    West,'' adding that NATO has sent Milosevic a strong message
    urging him to ``respect the voice of the Serbian and Yugoslav
    people and acknowledge their votes.'' ``We shall continue to deny
    him the full and normal relations with us as long as we do not see
    signs on his part of being prepared for a democratic and open
    society,'' stressed Christopher.


    The Serbian Government was in danger of a factional split during
    last week's session which discussed the protests in Belgrade,
    learned the weekly ``Nedeljni Telegraf.''  Minister of
    Information, Aleksandar Tijanic [who has since resigned] took a
    stand opposing the introductory speech by Mr Sainovic, which had
    described the demonstrations as ``destructive.''  Tijanic said
    that ``the protests were more of a social rebellion. The
    demonstrators mind the living conditions more than the electoral
    results and the blockade of the media.''  Minister of Science,
    Dusan Kanazir demanded that the leading party do away with the
    ``compromised personalities'' and come up with ``the right
    answer'' to the student protests. Members of the New Democracy
    also distanced themselves from Sainovic's speech. None of the
    cabinet members wanted to comment on the 12-hour session.


    Tens of thousands of students turned out today for the 20th day of
    their protest. Among others, they were addressed by former
    journalist for Studio-B, Zoran Ostojic who said: ``You have to
    help President Milosevic. He is going down and he knows it. He
    knows he has two roads: that of Prague or that of Bucharest. Help
    him choose one of the two. Support him whichever he may choose!''
    The council of lecturers of the School of Philosophy announced
    their decision to cancel all lectures starting today and join the
    students in their demands. The School of Agriculture is expected
    to do the same during the day, thus becoming the 16th UofB school
    to support the student protest.


    Spokesman of the Student Protest '96 Steering Board, Dusan
    Vasiljevic said today that the ``Independent Movement of
    Students'' was a short-lived organization whose aim was probably
    to ``provoke incidents and lead to a chaotic situation.''  He
    announced plans for intensification of the student protests by
    forming a ``more extensive front with the workers, who have most
    reason to protest.'' A number of workers joined student's march
    today, and this is expected to continue in the future.


    Today's protest of some 5,000 students of UofNis was dedicated to
    the state media. Their march passed by the buildings of the local
    newspaper ``Narodne Novine,'' RTS Nis correspondence office and
    the local TV station, each of which was greeted with several
    minutes' booing.


    Head of the metal workers section in the Association of Trade
    Union ``Nezavisnost,'' Milan Nikolic said at today's press
    conference that ``the electoral results have shown that changes
    are possible, and workers have realized they have to fight for
    their votes as well as for their jobs.''  This realization will
    turn the sporadic metal workers' strikes into a general one. He
    proceeded to read out the list of general demands of the metal
    workers. The most important among these were the payment of
    overdue wages, full employment for all metal workers, guarantee of
    their right to work and the right to earn a living, and the return
    to work of all those who have been fired by Milosevic's men.


    The Commission struck by the Association of Lawyers of Serbia to
    assess the legal foundations of the decision to annul the
    electoral results of the second round of local elections, stated
    today that the rulings by the First Municipal Court and the
    Supreme Court of Serbia represented ``gross violation'' of law.

    The Commission is to base its report on the available material,
    for it has been denied access to the ``mysterious'' second minutes
    of a Belgrade Electoral Committee session as well as to any of the
    complaints submitted by the Socialist Party of Serbia.

    The Committee said that the courts have not given equal treatment
    to both parties involved, nor have they allowed for impartial
    inspection of the complaints by both sides. Furthermore, the
    courts have either disregarded material evidence or dismissed it
    as irrelevant without, however, giving any grounds whatsoever for
    that ruling. A special issue is the mysterious appearance of 2
    different sets of minutes of a Belgrade Electoral Commission
    Session, the first of them containing no record of complaints by
    any party while the second, which ran to 106 pages, recorded tens
    of complaints by both SPS and the opposition.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

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

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