Belgrade police prevent journalists from covering protest; man hits reporter

Foto: Pixabay

The police prevented journalists to come close to several dozens of NGO activists rallied outside the Youth House in central Belgrade on Thursday night in a protest over graffiti glorifying a war criminal.

But the police intervened by arresting several rightists who tried to prevent the activists from removing the graffiti.

 

The activists and Belgraders eventually removed the graffiti.

 

The NGOs held a protest earlier at the same place and gave the city’s authorities a deadline to 6 pm to remove the graffiti saying ’Ratko Mladic Hero.’ He was a wartime commander of the Bosnian Serb Army and was convicted for crimes, including the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

 

The activists put stickers saying ‘Ratko Mladic is a war criminal’ and ‘Ratko Mladic is convicted of genocide’ over the graffiti. But, they were soon removed.

 

The activists then announced a new protest in the evening in case the city services did not remove the graffiti.

 

Later, a man hit the Danas daily reporter Snezanu Congradin while she tried to talk to him.

 

The plainclothes police apprehended him, and Congradin said she was not hurt.

 

An N1 reporter said the police arrested several rightists who prevented the removal of the graffiti. They appeared when the activists tried to remove it. They were aggressive, and one threw insults at the N1 crew.

Belgarde administration did not react to the NGO request to remove a mural celebrating Mladic in a central Belgarde district. The activists twice covered the mural with paint. Still, young people with hoodies, some saying they belonged to the anti-migrant nationalist People’s Patrol soon washed the paint and even added two more murals, one also dedicated to a WW II war criminal.

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