“Molotov cocktails” found during searches of protesters in Serbia

Police ransacked prepared Molotov cocktails and gas masks during searches of protesters in the Serbian capital, Belgrade Vice Mayor Goran Vesic said.

In Belgrade and other cities of Serbia, mass evening protests against the policies of the authorities have been held since July 7 against the background of restrictive measures because of COVID-19. Serbian Police Director Vladimir Rebic said on Saturday that during the riots the night before 14 policemen were injured (130 since the start of the protests), 71 people were detained. Deputy Governor Goran Vesic said that the damage to the capital of Serbia from violent protests in the city center until July 9 amounted to one million euros, the calculation of losses continues. From Saturday to Sunday, the protest was almost peaceful, with only a few aggressive demonstrators being detained at the end.

«The police at night on Sunday during a search of hooligan and neo-Nazi groups who came to meetings in front of the Assembly  found Molotov cocktails and gas masks. Belgrade city services, along with the police, found hidden stone blocks in containers nearby that were prepared to attack the police last night», – wrote the deputy mayor of Facebox.

The current protests in Serbia are characterized by increased aggression of demonstrators against journalists. Moreover, both the employees of television channels and agencies critical of the actions of the authorities, as well as employees of state-owned media, were attacked. At least three journalists were hospitalized with serious injuries, cameras were broken, and threats and beatings by aggressive protesters were recorded. Police respond to aggression by demonstrators using tear gas, smoke bombs, stun grenades and physical force.

Participants in mass protests in front of the Assembly of Serbia demand, in particular, the resignation of President Alexander Vučić and protest against the authorities’ plans to tighten measures against the spread of coronavirus.

The protests do not have a single organizer or a clear action plan. Representatives of the Serbian opposition were seen among the participants on different days, however, protesters mostly react negatively to their appearance in their ranks. So, the ex-mayor of Belgrade Dragan Djilas and actor Sergei Trifunovich were attacked, and the former president of the country, Boris Tadic, was insulted.


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