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Serbia. End of amnesty for handing over illegal weapons. More than 100,000 pieces were confiscated

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In Serbia, the period of amnesty for the surrender of illegal weapons ended on Friday. The Ministry of the Interior said that citizens returned almost 80,000 handguns and long guns, about 26,000 various types of explosives and over 4 million rounds of ammunition.

The amnesty was announced after the two shootings in early May as part of a measure to limit the risk of similar acts of violence being repeated. After its expiry, possession of illegal firearms will be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

– This is a good first step, which should be followed by others that can solve the source of the problem: appropriate work of institutions and educating the public – assessed in an interview with Radio Free Europe Dragisza Ćalić, a lawyer defending human rights YUCOM organization.

The police in Serbia showed weapons from the inhabitants of the countryDIMITRIJE GOLL/Predsednik.rs

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Serbia against violence

In response to the shootings at the Belgrade school and located in the central one Serbia villages – where a total of 19 people died – mass protests “Serbia against violence” have been organized in the country for nine weeks. The protesters are demanding the resignation of the interior minister Bratislav Gaszic and the head of the intelligence service Aleksandar Vulin, changes in the institution regulating the activities of the Serbian media, the banning of tabloids promoting violence and the withdrawal of licenses from two pro-government television stations.

Belgrade. Protest against violence in Serbia PAP/EPA/ANDREJ CUKIC

According to the Serbian Interior Ministry, most of the weapons were handed over in the country’s capital, Belgrade. The police have informed citizens about the need to keep legal weapons in password-protected safes. She also announced inspections during which improperly stored weapons will be confiscated

An expert from the YUCOM organization assessed that “it is necessary to explain to young people that weapons are dangerous.” “You have to change their consciousness,” he added.

A remnant of wars and part of folklore

Research by the Belgrade Institute of Criminology and Social Research has shown that most of the illegal weapons in the Balkan region come from the wars of the 1990s accompanying the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Analysts also assessed that “having a gun is part of Balkan folklore.”

Main photo source: DIMITRIJE GOLL/Predsednik.rs

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