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Serbia News Alert

Serbia: Demonstration planned in Belgrade April 6 /update 8

An anti-government protest is expected to take place in Belgrade on April 6; further demonstrations planned for April 13

05 Apr 07:05 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 4/5/2019, 12:00 AM until 4/13/2019, 11:59 PM (Europe/Belgrade). COUNTRY/REGION Belgrade, Serbia
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Event

A protest is expected to take place in Belgrade on Saturday, April 6, in coordination with recent weekly demonstrations in the downtown area. Participants are set to gather at 18:00 (local time) near the Government of Serbia building before marching to Pink Circle. While previous protests have occurred peacefully, heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated along the march route. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out

Opposition groups and civil society organizations have also announced plans to stage anti-government protests in Belgrade on Saturday, April 13, to demand increased freedom of the press, free and fair elections, and the president's resignation. Although specific details of the demonstrations have not been released as of March 31, likely rallying sites include the president's residenceNational Assembly, Student's Square, the Serbian radio and television (RTS) headquarters, and other prominent government buildings.

Context

The protest movement, noted by the slogan "#1od5miliona" (#1of5million), began after political opposition leader Borko Stefanović was assaulted by a group of unidentified individuals in November 2018. The demonstrations, ongoing since December 8, have been organized to denounce perceived political abuses of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and the lack of media freedom in the country, and to demand the resignation of President Vučić.

During the most recent protests on March 16-17, clashes broke out between demonstrators and security forces outside the presidential residence, with police using pepper spray to disperse protesters who attempted to station a truck with loudspeakers near the building. Protesters also stormed and occupied the Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) building to denounce perceived biased reporting. 

Advice

Individuals in Serbia are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate localized traffic disruptions and a heightened security presence near demonstration sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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