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Serbia, Belgrade. Anti-government protests after two bloody shootings. The demonstrators took to the streets for the fifth time

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For the fifth time, an anti-government protest took place in Belgrade after two mass shootings in which a total of 18 people were killed and 20 injured. In the Serbian capital, tens of thousands of demonstrators called for the revocation of licenses for media outlets that “promote violence” and “incite tensions”. The protesters are also demanding changes to the Serbian government.

Movement Demonstrations”Serbia against violence” are – according to the AFP agency – the largest in the country in 20 years. The demonstrations, started after two unrelated mass shootings, vent anger at what the participants describe as “a culture of violence, built and controlled by the government media”.

In early May at a school in the center of Belgrade, her 13-year-old student shot dead nine people and wounded six moreone of whom died a few days later in hospital. A day later, in a village in central Serbia, a 21-year-old murdered eight and injured 14 people. Both attackers were captured shortly after the attacks.

Week after week, demonstrators are demanding the revocation of licenses for TV channels that promote violence and government newspapers that incite tensions and attack political dissidents, the agency said.

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Read also: “I saw a security guard in a pool of blood. I asked where my child was.” Shooting at a school in Belgrade

There are also regular calls for the resignation of the interior minister, Bratislav Gasic, and the former head of this ministry, and later the defense minister, Aleksandar Vulin, who currently heads the intelligence service (BIA).

The president on the protests: a theater conducted from the outside

The first demonstrations gave rise to the anti-government opposition movement, although its demands were met with a sharp refusal by the president and his allies, who mock the protests and insult their participants. Opponents of President Aleksandar Vucic accuse him of increasingly resorting to authoritarian measures to prevent the integration of the opposition and to maintain control over the media. Vucic describes the demonstrations as political “theatre” and spreads conspiracy theories about allegedly being led by outside forces. When asked to appoint a transitional government to rule until the next election, the president said that would not happen “as long as he is alive” and that the protesters “wouldn’t scare him away.”

The protest in the Serbian capital took place for the fifth timeReuters

‘We owe a debt to the victims of the shootings’

Saturday’s demonstration was a bit different from the previous ones, the AP agency noted. Journalists spotted right-wing groups seeking to infiltrate the march and promote a nationalist agenda. There were also reports of ultranationalist groups attacking participants with batons. Some of them had a symbol of Russian aggression on their clothes Ukraine – the letter “Z” – emphasizes the AP. Demonstrators chanted “Vucic, go away!” Actor Dragan Bjelogrlić, who participated in the protest, told the gathered that he owed a debt to the victims shot in the first days of May. “We owe them truth and justice,” he said. “We owe them what they didn’t get from us in life.”

Main photo source: Reuters

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