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Serbia on the verge of civil war, protesters target parliament, police answer brutal

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 8, 2020
Numerous police forces with equipment for breaking up demonstrations are located around the building of the Assembly of Serbia on Nikola Pasic Square in Belgrade.
Serbia protest
Balkan state   Serbia demonstrations
There are police officers on horseback and with dogs, as well as several police vehicles.

Topics: Serbia

Several dozen police officers with identical equipment were deployed near the national television RTS building in Takovska Street.

In front of the Assembly is a small group of people in front of the entrance and a slightly larger one on the other side of the street at the beginning of the Pioneer Park.

The police have already set up not only a fence, but also a line of police officers with equipment for breaking up demonstrations, located from Kosovska Street to Nikola Pašić Square and the very entrance to the Assembly.

Serbia's president said that a weekend curfew to combat a resurgence of coronavirus infections might be scrapped after the measure sparked angry protests that ended in clashes with police.

Chaotic scenes rocked Belgrade Tuesday night after thousands of people streamed into the city centre to protest the president's announcement that authorities would reimpose a round the clock weekend lockdown.

Around 20 people were arrested and dozens were injured in running battles between police, who used tear gas, and protesters who stormed into parliament, threw rocks at officers and were accused of setting police cars alight.

Scenes of police brutality were captured on TV by regional broadcaster N1, including an incident in which officers used batons to beat three men sitting peacefully on a bench.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has retracted his decision to reimpose a coronavirus curfew and has urged people to stop attending anti-government rallies after a violent clash between protesters and police.

The president said that new measures could still include shortened hours for nightclubs and penalties for those not wearing masks.

"The violent dispersal of demonstrators by the Serbian police in Belgrade yesterday raises serious human rights concerns," said the Council of Europe's Human Rights Commission Dunja Mijatovic.