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Serbian Parliament Flooded with Belgrade Protesters Over Curfew

BY: Danyal Khan 

A huge number of police officers and protesters have been injured in riots that broke through the National Assembly in the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade. Students and families were part of the protests this past Tuesday. These protests started in response to the decision to re-implement a weekend curfew because of the increase in COVID-19 cases. The police were forced to interfere after protesters had broken through into the Assembly. Police officers were left with no choice but to fire tear gas into the protesters to prevent clashes between them.

There have been many far-right nationalists that have been blamed for the unrest and the invasion into the Assembly. The President of Serbia, Alexander Vucic had condemned the riots as of Wednesday. Mr. Vucic described these protests as the most savage police brutality witnessed in years and plead for an end to these protests. His motive for pleading for an end to these protests was an increased risk of coronavirus cases. Tuesday was the most fatal day in the pandemic for Serbia. This is because there had been 13 COVID-19 related deaths, with 120 citizens on ventilators. 4,000 people are still being treated in hospitals. This information was stated by the Serbian President in a national address. The city of Belgrade is the center of this problem, Mr. Vucic said. There was a ban-imposed on gatherings of 5+ people. The curfew was implemented from 18:00 local time on Fridays to 5:00 on Mondays. The president stated that the curfew will only apply to the capital city for now. However, Mr. Vucic claimed to pull back on the new lockdown and curfew plans that were set for the upcoming weekend, on Wednesday.

Predrag Kon, Serbia’s chief epidemiologist stated how these new lockdown and curfew rules are still being discussed and may not be implemented as of yet. Kon also added that the protest on Tuesday was a visual representation of how the citizens felt about a potential lockdown. He said that a lockdown is the easiest way to curb the spread of COVID-19, however, Mr. Vucic must think of a less strict procedure to curb it. Serbian authorities are working towards identifying the citizens who took part in the riots which harmed 43 police officers and 17 demonstrators. 

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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