The Strategist

118 police officers injured in Serbia in two days of anti-lockdown riots

07/10/2020 - 03:34

118 policemen were injured and 153 suspected violators were detained in cities of Serbia during the two days of unrest that accompanied the protests against the return of quarantine measures, said Serbian Police Director Vladimir Rebić.

Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
According to him, "citizens witnessed incredible violence, not only in Belgrade, but also in Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac."

He called this violence unacceptable and promised that the police would do everything to stop it.

According to Rebić, "great material damage was done - not only private, but also public property suffered."

"They (protesters) broke cars, beat windows and shop windows, set fire to garbage containers. Glasses were broken in Novi Sad in the building of the television and radio company RTV Voevodina, the entrance to the city administration building was set on fire. Police cars were destroyed in Niš and Kragujevac," Rebic said.

Riots arose in Belgrade and several other cities in Serbia on Wednesday night and repeated on Thursday night after President Alexander Vučić publicly admitted that he would reintroduce the curfew from Friday evening. On Thursday, the president emphasized that the decision had not yet been made and that it was important to protect not only people's health, but also the economy, but protests continued.

Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, Nebojša Stefanović, accused the rioters of the intention to remove the legally elected government.

the European Commission expressed concern over the events in Serbia. EC representative Ana Pisonero called protection of the public health the priority measure, but warned that restrictions should not prejudice fundamental freedoms and should be reduced to what is strictly necessary.