Alliance for Serbia, protest organizers demand release of protesters

NEWS 18.03.2019 19:21
Source: N1

Alliance for Serbia leaders and the organizers of the 1 in 5 Million protests told a news conference on Monday that the young people arrested during the weekend protests in Belgrade have to be released.

“Everything was peaceful in the RTS (state TV building) until the Gendarmerie started throwing us down three steps at a time, hitting and beating us. I saw the Gendarmes beat the young man who is in jail now,” protest organizer Jelena Anasonovic told reporters.

Opposition leader Dragan Djilas said Saturday’s events were not planned, adding that some people entered the RTS building along with some opposition officials who were there to calm the situation without any intention of causing violence.

“The violence in the RTS building was great but primarily from the Gendarmerie. There is video of them slapping a man who was just standing there and punching others,” he said adding that he and other opposition officials are prepared to give statements to the police.

Djilas said the Alliance is planning to intensify the protests and are trying to keep everything free of incidents with no violence. “We are afraid of people who are infiltrated among the protesters. The chain of violence needs to stop, we don’t want a civil war. We told people to disperse when we heard that Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) followers were gathering,” he added.

The Alliance news conference also heard from lawyers representing the young men who were arrested for their involvement in the weekend protests.