Serbian minister denies thugs engaged to cause violence at protests

NEWS 10.07.2020 12:23
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Source: Tanjug/ Sava Radovanović

Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic denied on Friday that the police arrested and released “thugs” alleged to have been instructed to cause violent incidents during this week’s protests in Belgrade and other places.

“It’s a spin that we released the thugs who had a deal with the authorities,” he told the pro-authorities TV Pink. He said that the police had arrested more than 150 protesters in the two days of unrest adding that some of them were released. He asked what government wants to see violence and the destruction of property. The minister also denied claims that there were criminals among the police forces engaged against the protesters.  

According to the minister, the police showed a maximum of restraint during the protests with no more than 200 police officers engaged.   “Our tactics yesterday (Thursday the third day of protests) was for the police to be visible and there was no violence,” Stefanovic said.

He claimed that the same number of police officers were present as on the previous two days.   “It’s also a spin that we knew there would be no violence because it was use who brought in people to cause violence,” he said.  

The minister said that the protests were not registered gatherings and were “completely illegal”.