Citizens demand release of activist detained at environmental protest in Serbia

NEWS 28.11.2021 19:57
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Protest baklja RTS
Source: N1

Numerous citizens, including activists from several organizations and political parties, gathered in Belgrade’s Republic Square on Sunday evening, demanding that the man who stopped an excavator from running over a group of protesters in Sabac the day before be released from custody.

On Saturday, mass protests took place across Serbia over the recently adopted laws on referendum and expropriation of property, moves which critics said were tailored to favour the Rio Tinto company which plans to extract lithium in western Serbia. Protesters blocked numerous roads and bridges across the country and a number of people were detained.

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Dragan Milovanovic Crni, who stopped the excavator during clashes between protesters and members of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), was ordered into custody for 48 hours.

Nova.rs reported that the excavator was driven by Nebojsa Stojicevic Jarin, an SNS member from Sabac.

Djordje Miketic from the Ecological Uprising movement said that many activists were arrested or beaten during the Saturday protest.

„Several of them are with us tonight and I am asking you to applaud these brave citizens,“ he said, after which applause erupted.
Among those detained was a local councillor in Valjevo, Zeljko Trifunovic, who said that Serbia has finally woken up and started to rebel.

He said that the blockade in Valjevo took place without any issues until buses with Loznica license plates with members of the SNS arrived. He said police reacted extremely brutally and started arresting locals.

Following the speeches, citizens started a protest walk towards the public broadcaster, RTS, where they will ask for their requests to be read out to the public in the programme.

Ecological Uprising activist Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta announced that blockades of bridges and roads throughout Serbia will also be organized next Saturday over the adoption of the new laws.

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