News for February 3rd, 1997

Between 00:30 am and 01:00 am today a group of few tens of youngsters ran past the building of the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and hid among its walls and the park situated across the building, followed by speeding police van which stopped at the end of the street (at the far end of the school building). A few onlooking students opened the doors of the school and offered refuge to the people outside. As four teenagers reached the steps leading to the main doors of the school, an unindentified VW golf white sedan breaked hard behind them. Two people dressed in plain clothes chased after the youngsters and managed to grab one of them and immediately shoved him into the car, while the other three rushed into the building to safety. The VW sedan then drove up to the waiting police van at the end of the street, where the teenager was escorted from the car into the van which shortly after drove off into an unknown direction.

Around 01:00 today several members of the police forces chased after a group of citizens who were fleeing towards the School of Philosophy in order to take refuge. Two policemen attempted to enter the school when the Student Security tried to prevent them from doing so. The policemen beat the citizens while entering the School after them.
While trying to explain to the police forces that they cannot enter the school premises, one member of the Student Security was injured. He stated that he placed himself between the citizens in refuge and the police forces, trying to stop the later from entering the building. However, the policemen succeeded in entering the school lobby by using force, but quickly left after they noticed reporters with TV and photographic cameras. A few of their colleagues stood in the vicinity of the school building during this incident, but did not intervene.

Strong police forces have completely blocked the center of Belgrade, and are chasing small groups of citizens around the nearby streets. The police used tear-gas in Republic Square and dispersed citizens, who threw stones at them. The police beat Vesna Pesic, the leader of the Civic Alliance of Serbia, whose left arm and leg are hurt. Vuk Draskovic, the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), is not in the Headquarters of his party, because, according to the SPO sources, he was supposed to be arrested this evening. Zoran Djindjic, the president of the Democratic Party, said that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had "lost his nerve" and "reacted nervously and used force in the moment when the whole world is watching the events in Belgrade". "There is no reason for us to end the protests and we shall continue the peaceful protests. I shall go home across Terazije, and those who want to see me will see me in the street, even if they be uniformed," said Djindjic for Radio B92.

BK Television, relying on its unofficial sources in the Trauma Center, reports that around 50 people, beaten up by the police during this evening's peaceful demonstrations, have asked for help. The doctors on duty in the Trauma Center refused to give official information about the hurt citizens, saying that it would be possible only tomorrow, when the director of the Trauma Center arrived. Some time before 2:00 the situation in the center of the city, which is still controlled by numerous policemen, calmed.

This evening at Terazije, the police beat the reporters of Beta news agency and of the "Blic" newspaper, who were on duty. Predrag Vujic, a reporter of Beta, was hit five or six times on the back with police clubs, whereas Marko Petrovic, a "Blic" reporter, was hit once across the back. Their reporter's ID's were visible. When the policemen started towards them, they shouted that they were reporters, but it had no effect. Vujic and Petrovic were reporting about the demonstrations of the coalition Zajedno, the participants of which were dispersed by the police, who used force and water cannons in this operation.

Vesna Pesic, the leader of the Civic Alliance of Serbia (GSS), said that the police attacked the participants of this evening's peaceful demonstrations in order to give an excuse to the regime to declare a state of emergency in Belgrade. Pesic said for Radio B92 that the authorities wanted to introduce a state of emergency in Belgrade because the mandate of the present Belgrade Assembly would end on February 4. By declaring a state of emergency, the authorities were attempting to keep the control over Belgrade, in which the opposition had won the elections, said Pesic. The one who ordered the police to use force against peaceful citizens this evening wanted to provoke clashes and, consequently, declare a state of emergency, perhaps only in Belgrade or for just a few days, says Nebojsa Popov, a member of the GSS leadership. He is of the opinion that the violence used by the police against the citizens who were peacefully demonstrating represents a challenge for coalition Zajedno, students, citizens and the world public. His conclusion is that the leadership of the opposition should accept this challenge wisely and calmly.

After the breaking of the peaceful protest of the citizens at the Branko's bridge, the police received orders to arrest all the young people throughout Belgrade who have protest pins or whistles on them, and to stop and search all those wearing sneakers, and if they find pins or whistles, arrest them too, it was proclaimed by the informative center of the Democratic Party (DS). All the members of the police who beat the citizens will be persecuted, this party announces.
According to this party's proclamation, "the Center", i.e. the leadership of the police action, issued an order to the unit whose coded name is "Avala 925" at five minutes before one o'clock after midnight, which quoted: "Arrest all the young people in Kolarceva street wearing sneakers, and on whom, during the search, a pin or a whistle is found". Fifteen minutes later, "the Center" issued an order to the unit "Avala 922" to ask all the citizens in the center of the city wearing sneakers, for identity cards, and at 01:20, the units with coded names "Avala 9201, 9202, 9203" were ordered to, "after they have handed over all the arrested persons, circle the central zone and continue with the arrests".
The informative center of the DS stresses that, during the arrests, members of these units behaved "very brutally" towards the citizens. According the data of the "Zajedno" coalition, a few hundred citizens were beaten and arrested. "Zajedno" possesses the recordings of the policemen who performed the beatings and appeals to all the citizens who have video and photo shots to bring them in the course of the day to the premises of the DS, it is written in the announcement, and concluded that "all the members of the units Avala 925, 922, 9201, 9202 and 9203 who are proved to have beaten the citizens, will be criminally persecuted".

Chief of staff Slobodan Ivanovic, the Manager of the Center for Urgent Medical Aid of the Student Protest 96/97, stated this morning that fifty wounded people received urgent medical aid in this Center during the night, "most of them being students". Ivanovic told the Beta news agency that about ten persons with serious injuries were brought to the Center, "but nobody's life was threatened". We registered numerous head injuries, fractures of the extremities and concussions from blows with a blunt object on almost all bodily parts of the patients, Ivanovic said.

Rade Vasilic, the Deputy Manager of the Belgrade Trauma Center told the Beta agency that 29 injured people were brought to this Center during the night. They all received necessary medical aid and only two persons were retained for hospitalization, Vasilic said. Vasilic said that it is possible that more people be brought to the Trauma Center during the day, "because with certain types of injuries, aches and consequences are felt subsequently".

A few hundred Belgrade taxi-drivers blocked the crossroads of the streets Kneza Milosa and Bulevar Revolucije near the Federal Assembly with their vehicles today, thus expressing their protest against the last night's killing of their colleague in Mokroluska street on Dusanovac. The taxi-drivers told the Beta agency that their colleague was shot in the head by a customer and that this murder has nothing to do with the last night's incidents, when the police beat the demonstrators in downtown Belgrade.

Approximately 1500 students of the Law School and of the technical schools headed today at around 12:30 to the Supreme Court of Serbia where the students from other schools of the Belgrade University should also gather. The representatives of the Student Protest, which has been going on for 74 days because of the disrespect of the electoral will of the citizens, should talk today with the Public Attorney of Serbia, whom they expect to issue a demand for the protection of legality in order to legally end the months long political crisis in Serbia, caused by the government's refusal to acknowledge the results of the local elections from November 17th. Buses and other vehicles filled with the special police forces are arriving to the center of the city, since the 76th protest of the oppositional coalition "Zajedno" because of the annulment of the local elections' results is scheduled for 15:00 in downtown Belgrade.

At least 15000 students of Belgrade gathered today at 13:20 at the square Slavija, from where they headed for the Supreme Court of Serbia building. The delegation of the Student Protest is to meet the Public Attorney of Serbia, of whom they expect to use an extraordinary legal means in order to solve the political crisis in Serbia.

The Public Attorney of the republic of Serbia refused today to receive a delegation of the Student Protest 96/97, who were standing in front of the building of the Supreme Court of Serbia with several tens of thousands of other students, expecting to be let in for a conversation. The representatives of the Student Protest said that after this they would not try to meet the Republic Attorney again. After they had waited in vain, several thousands of students returned peacefully into the square in front of the School of Philosophy.

Just before 15:00 today, a huge procession of Belgrade students started across the Branko's Bridge, where the police bashed the citizens who were going to the protest rally of coalition Zajedno last evening. Cedomir Jovanovic, a member of the Initiative Board of the Student Protest 96/97, stated for Radio B92 that the students intended to surround the building of former Central Committee of the Communist League of Yugoslavia, now the headquarters of the Serbian Socialist Party. The building is on the Novi Beograd side of the bridge. The police did not prevent the students from crossing the bridge.

A group of students of the School of Philosophy in Novi Sad occupied the school building today and called upon their colleagues and professors to join them in the protest against the last night's police violence against the students and other citizens in Belgrade. The students of the School of Philosophy announced similar actions in other schools of Novi Sad University.

The Independent Student Movement (NSP) announced today that "the so called Assembly of Deans, which is trying to found a parallel university, is not a legitimate organ and does not have a right to make decisions which will apply to all students". In the public announcement of the NSP, a student organization which appeared only after the Student Protest had begun, it is said that it would be "normal that those whose profession is to teach students should enable those students who want to study to attend lectures regularly".

Teachers and assistants at Nis University condemned today Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbian Government for the brutal attack of the police on students and citizens of Belgrade, who have been protesting against "the crime against freedom, truth and justice". The teaching staff of Nis University appealed to all universities in Serbia and to all citizens to enter upon a general peaceful protest.

HRH Aleksandar Karadjordjevic sent letters to the Presidents and of the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany, in which he asked them to condemn the brutal police action in Serbia and to help the movement for democracy in Serbia.

Strong police forces were posted in the center of Belgrade around 16:00 today, when around 50,000 citizens of Belgrade started their protest walk from Republic Square, in which the 76th protest rally against the annulment of the results of local elections was held. During the rally, some of the demonstrators threw stones at the policemen. Police cordons were posted at Terazije as well.

The Chancellorship of the University of Arts and the Deans of the Schools of Art in Belgrade condemned the intervention of the police against the demonstrators last night on Branko's bridge and demanded the release of the arrested students. They estimated that the "bursting of the police into the building of the School of Philosophy, the beating and arresting of students who were there, is a flagrant breaking of the law regarding the autonomy of the university and the impenetrability of its premises."

The Board of Deans of the School of Philosophy has decided that until tomorrow's session of the Scientific-Teaching Council of this school all work activities at the school will stop in protest because of the bursting of the police into the building of the school and the beating of the students in the night of February 2-3. As it is stated in the announcement, the Board of Deans demands the establishment of who stands behind the bursting of the police and that all the students taken for questioning be released.

Dusan Vasiljevic, spokesman for the Student Protest stated today that the Student Protest will take more radical measures because of the beating of students and citizens last night. Not wishing to specify the measures, Vasiljevic circulated a "list of arms" at the press conference, emphasizing that the students will be using a new fire-arm - the lighter.

The police are no longer our brothers. When we see them in the street we will look the other way. They have disgraced Serbia and will not exist for us as long as they have only masters and no conscience, it is stated in today's announcement of the Student Protest '96/97. The students said that they will no longer stand the humiliations and that everybody should know that.

Slobodan Grubacic, Dean of the School of Philosophy expressed today his "uneasiness and shakiness" because of the beating of Rastko Kostic, sophomore of the School of Languages in last night's action of the police in Belgrade. "With great bitterness we raise our voice against the violence in the streets of the Capital, especially when the police brutally rush unarmed students. We are additionally concerned because of the fact that Rastko Kostic clearly wore a press ID, since the editorial of the school paper Znak (Sign), it was said in the statement of the Dean of the School of Languages.

The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellors of the University of Nis demanded of Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia and Mirko Marjanovic, the Prime Minister and all the "political leaders" to resolve the political crises in Serbia as soon as possible in a peaceful and political manner.

Manager of the Center for Urgent Medical Attention of the Student Protest '96/97, primarius Slobodan Ivanovic, stated that seven people had been admitted to the Center after the evening intervention of the police against the demonstrators in the center of the city. "Four students and three citizens were injured" stated Ivanovic and added that they were mostly lightly injured by clubs on the back and extremities.

The oppositional coalition "Zajedno" scheduled a protest rally at Republic Square for 15:00, after the last night's assault of the police on the peaceful demonstrators, when dozens of citizens were hurt, among others Vesna Pesic, the President of the Civil Alliance of Serbia.

More than three thousand teachers from elementary and high schools in Nis went on to strike this morning, seeking the payment of the last years salaries and wages increase. The Nis teachers added to their basic requests the demand that the Law on Employment be changed, seeking the alteration of the part concerning the authority of the managers, as well as the Law on Strike in the part which forbids the complete cessation of work.

Because of the brutal intervention of the police against the peaceful demonstrators in Belgrade, the representatives of the oppositional coalition "Zajedno" gave up their participation at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town Davos. The invitation to Davos was issued to Zoran Djindjic, one of the coalition's leaders, Vojin Dimitrijevic, the president of the Foreign Policy Council of the Civil Alliance of Serbia and Milan Bozic, the advisor of the President of the Serbian Renewal Movement.

Srdjan Djuric, the editor of the informative program of the BK Television told FoNet that this morning a young Belgrade citizen, whose identity he wouldn't reveal, returned to this television station their camera, which was demolished last night in the violent action against the protest participants downtown. Djuric confirmed that the police assaulted a BK TV team last night, which consisted of Sava Ilic, cameraman, Maja Vidakovic, reporter, and Vanja Lazin, assistant cameraman, who were beaten in the Sremska street, while they were shooting the action of the police. On this occasion, two tapes were confiscated from them, and the camera was broken and was left on the sidewalk. After the appeal from the BK TV for the camera (100000 DM worth) to be returned, if found by one of the citizens, a young man brought the camera to this TV station.

The associates of the Institute for Philosophy and the Social Theory of the University in Belgrade denounced most bitterly the "criminal attacks of the police on the innocent citizens" and demanded the suspension of violence at the streets of the cities throughout Serbia.

The Managing Board of the Film Distributors decided today to withdraw their films from the program of the Belgrade Film Festival - FEST, due to the last night's brutal intervention of the police against the peaceful demonstrators in the center of Belgrade. The Association of the Distributors issued a demand to the Council of FEST to suspend the festival. The Organization of Film Artists of Serbia (UFUS) demanded the Council of the Belgrade Film Festival - FEST, to discontinue the festival, as a sign of protest against the police repression towards the Belgrade residents.

The 25th annual FEST has officially been canceled, it was announced today. The reporters in Sava Centar received the announcement from the session of the Council of FEST which reads: "Regarding the fact that the distributors have revoked their movies from the program of FEST 97, the founder is forced to announce to the public that the projections of the films, announced in the program, have been canceled until further notice."

The United City Syndicates (UGS) "Nezavisnost" summoned all their members and members of other syndicates to go on strike, because "it is the only possible answer" to the clear strategy of the regime, which responds to the peaceful protests of the citizens with brutal force.

The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, his holiness Pavle, appealed to all the citizens to refrain from causing any kind of disorders, and to the police to be the keepers of peace and order, "and not the authorities who are, so tragically for all of us, sinking in deep ignorance of what it is doing".

The first channel of the Russian television, referring to the last night's events in Belgrade as the main news, estimated that "the hope that the situation in Belgrade will come to a peaceful solution, has died last night". Other Russian media also made reports on the last night's disorders in Belgrade, when the police applied force against the demonstrators.

Approximately one thousand Belgrade lawyers pursued their protest gathering and the walk through the city streets, demanding the recognition of the results of the local elections' second rounds. The lawyers assembled in the Palace of Justice today at noon, from where they, following a conversation with Branimir Tocanac, the President of the County Court in Belgrade, went to a protest walk towards Slavija through Nemanjina street. The lawyers, who were headed for Republic Square where the 76th protest of the oppositional coalition "Zajedno" was scheduled for 15:00, were joined by a large number of the Palace of Justice employees.

Vuk Draskovic, one of the leaders of oppositional coalition Zajedno, said today to a press conference that the peaceful protest rallies would be continued, but that they would not be held in the evening, because of the safety of citizens. He added that new items would be added to the list of the demands of coalition Zajedno, but did not state what the new demands were.

The Social-democratic Union (SDU) protested today against the last evening's use of brutal police force against the citizens who had been demanding justice and the recognition of their electoral will in the streets of Belgrade and on the Sava bridge. That party requested immediate suspension of the practically introduced state of emergency, as well as the investigation of those who had ordered and those who had committed that outrageous crime, and it called the Serbian Government and the Minister of Internal Affairs to account for this political move.

The Belgrade Circle condemned today the brutal assault of the police forces against citizens of Belgrade and the participants of the peaceful demonstration. By this action, reads the statement, the political regime in Serbia took all the responsibility for the disastrous consequences which might follow the state violence.

The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia demanded today the resignation of Zoran Sokolovic, the Minister of Internal Affairs, because of the last night's brutal assaults of the police against journalists.

The strike in primary and secondary schools in Kragujevac continues today. The teaching staffs of these schools went on strike because they have not received their salaries for December and January.

Since early morning, French television and radio stations have been reporting about the police assault against the demonstrators in Belgrade and bashing of more than 80 citizens. French media stress the fact that the demonstration was peaceful, and that Vesna Pesic, one of the opposition leaders, was hurt in the police attack.

The Association of Drama Artists of Serbia called upon all its members to stop all professional activities because of police violence, the shameless police attack on students and the burst into the School of Philosophy. The Association announced that there would be no performances in Belgrade theaters this evening.

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia condemns the brutality of the regime towards the participants of peaceful demonstrations and its stubborn refusing to recognize the results of local elections. This Committee announced that it would inform the international public and all the relevant governmental and non-governmental organizations in the world about the latest events in Serbia, and demand that more pressure be put on the Serbian regime.

In its prime time news program at 15:00 today, state controlled Radio Belgrade did not announce that the police had used clubs and water cannons to drive off the demonstrators from the Branko's Bridge across the Sava river and from central Belgrade streets last night.

The Sociology Society of Serbia protested today against the last night's "perfidious and vandal" police assault against citizens who were peacefully demonstrating.

The leadership of coalition Zajedno in Novi Sad called upon their fellow-citizens to gather in the central city square at 19:30 this evening in order to express their protest against the violent police attack on the participants of the peaceful demonstration in Belgrade last night.

The Civil Youth Alliance (GOS) expressed "terminal concern and astonishment over loathsome and above all inconceivable intervention of the police forces" and summoned Zoran Sokolovic, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia to resign.

The European Union condemns the brutal police attack on demonstrators in Belgrade and suggests a possibility of taking other measures beside the statements of protest, announced Hans van Mierlo, the head of the Dutch diplomacy and the chairman of the council of ministers in EU, this evening.

Klaus Kinkel, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, condemned the last night's intervention of the police against the demonstrators in Belgrade and warned the Serbian authorities that they blocked the country's return to Europe with these actions.

Herve De Charette, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, condemned most harshly the intervention of the police against the demonstrators in Belgrade and decided to invite the leaders of the "Zajedno" coalition to Paris. "That invitation means the recognition of the French government to the leaders of the 'Zajedno" coalition, which proved its political maturity in the last few weeks", De Charette says in his public announcement.

Zoran Djindjic, the President of the Democratic Party said in an interview to the AFP agency that the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic missed the opportunity to end the peaceful street protests and that Serbia is now at the verge of social disorders.

Miodrag Perisic, the Vice-president of the Democratic Party announced today for the BBC radio that the "Zajedno" coalition considers that the last night's orders for the police intervention against the demonstrators came from the Yugoslav Left, whose leader is Mirjana Markovic, the wife of the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. He said that new riot police forces had arrived from Kosovo and that Zajedno believed they had clear orders to attack.

"Civilians in leather jackets and black caps" shot at Zajedno leader Vuk Draskovic in what he described as "a scenario for my assassination" after police had dispersed demonstrators on Sunday night. Mr Draskovic also told Radio B92 that he knew Mirjana Markovic, leader of the hard line Yugoslav United Left party and wife of the Serbian President, had ordered his arrest and murder.

Malcolm Rifcind, the British Minister of Foreign Affairs reprehended the last night's "violence of the police over the peaceful demonstrators in Belgrade" today.

Ivor Roberts, British Ambassador to Belgrade, said in a statement to Radio B92 on Monday morning that the British government was concerned at the situation in Serbia and condemned the events of Sunday night.

The democratic party of Serbia (DSS) estimated today that "the unprovoked intrusion of the armed police in the building of the School of Philosophy, and the savage violence over peaceful students under their own roof, is an unforgivable violation of all constitutional and common law standards".

The Democratic Center (DC) reprehended, most harshly, "the escalation of police violence" and "the brutal clash" of the police with the demonstrators and the violation of the autonomy of the University. The today's announcement of this party states that all this happened just at the moment when the final acceptation of the report made by Felipe Gonzales was expected, as well as the commencement of the dialogue on the way out of the crisis.

The Forum of the journalists of Belgrade weekly newspaper "NIN" protests against the brutal force used against the citizens of Belgrade, who have been demonstrating in the streets of the capital for more than two months. In their today's open letter to President Slobodan Milosevic, more than 20 members of this paper's editorial stress their protest against the organized bashing and maltreating of reporters and TV-crews and request that the press should be enabled to report from Belgrade and Serbia freely.

Karl Bilt, High Commissioner of the International Community in Bosnia appealed to Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia to avoid use of force in the streets of Belgrade.

The syndicate of education workers "Nezavisnost" held its 15th protest gathering at the Republic Square in Belgrade because of the unpaid salaries and low work fees. A letter was sent to Mirko Marjanovic Prime Minister of Serbia, in which it is demanded that he meet with the representatives of the employees which would inform him of the conditions under which the workers would cease their strike. Marjanovic still hasn't answered the letter.

The Student Health Institute of the University of Belgrade has decisively fought against the repression exercised on the students, it is stated in the Institute. We demand that all injured students receive adequate medical attention and are granted visits of their colleagues states the announcement signed by Dragan Ilic director of this institution.

More than 5,000 citizens gathered in front of the County building of Uzice in sign of protest regarding the assault on the citizens and students last night in Belgrade. At today's rally "peaceful and dignified rallies and walks" were supported and it was said that one must endure until the end avoiding conflicts and the shedding of blood.

More than 2,000 citizens gathered in the center of Leskovac this evening to protest, for the 62nd time, against the annulment of the results of local elections. At the end of the protest rally, the citizens walked in circles. The protest shall be continued at 18:00 tomorrow.

Nebojsa Covic, the mayor of Belgrade appealed today for reason and the urgent resolution of the crises. He appealed to the citizens not to seek revenge, and not to provoke force by reacting with violence so that the dramatically events would not end as tragic.

The Association of Free and Independent Syndicates appealed to its members to join all the forms of civil resistance against the "dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic".

Wolfgang Schuessel, Chief of the Austrian Diplomacy stated that he is constarnated by last night's brutal intervention of the Serbian police against the demonstrators in Belgrade".

Sonja Jaukovic, actress in the National Theatre stated that the employees of this house have decided to cease all work, in protest against the "police occupation of the cities of Serbia and the beating of citizens".

At the 64th protest gathering of the opposition coalition Zajedno against the annulment of the electoral results, the citizens sharply condemned last night's assault of the police on the peaceful demonstrators in Belgrade.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated today that it intervened yesterday in the streets of Belgrade "in order to prevent the threatening of traffic" and that 18 people were arrested at that time. The Republic Minister stated that "all measures in accordance with the law" will continue to be taken in order to prevent the threatening of traffic and public peace and order.

The manager of the National Theatre, Aleksandar Bercek stated today at the meeting of the staff of this institution that he is handing in his resignation to this function. At the same meeting the decision was made that the theatre should completely stop all its functions.

The University Board for the Defence of Democracy demanded of the President of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic to pull back the police from the streets of Belgrade and punish the ones responsible for last night's violence against the demonstrators or else - hand in his resignation. The board also appealed to all the schools and institutes of the Belgrade University, its teachers, associates and research employees to momentarily and completely cease all activity until the ones responsible for the violence in the streets of Belgrade are punished.

Robert Norman, the Chief of Staff of the American Embassy in Belgrade stated to day in Nis that the acknowledgement of the results of Gonsales' committee regarding the local elections is demanded of the Serbian authorities. He then condemned the use of police violence in Belgrade.

Regarding last nights attack of the police on the demonstrators in Belgrade, the Greek government has asked for the respect of the legitimate demonstrations of the supporters of the opposition.

The international organization "Reporters without boarders" sent a letter to Slobodan Milosevic president of Serbia in which they condemn the violence against foreign and domestic reporters last night in Belgrade.

The police in Smederevo arrested ten citizens, among who Milenko Djukic, president of the local Board of the Democratic Party.

A few thousand citizens protested today in the center of Cacak because of last night's incidents in Belgrade, when the police beat citizens and students.

Italy condemned the conflicts between the police and demonstrators in Serbia and appealed to president Slobodan Milosevic to acknowledge the annulled electoral victories of the coalition Zajedno on the local elections.

President of the board of the syndicates of the workers in the textile leather and shoe industry for the Jablan area stated today in Leskovac that the branch and industrial syndicates will most likely decide on a general strike during this week.

Stevan Gardinovacki, the Drama director of the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad, announced this evening that all performances in that theater had been canceled "until further notice", because of the violence used by the police in Belgrade.

Demonstrators in Pirot this evening condemned the police attack on the protesters in Belgrade. At 19:15, while the demonstrators were making noise during the prime time news program of the RTS, police cordons surrounded the central city square, which increased the dissatisfaction of the demonstrators. The gathering ended with the "prison walk" in circles in the central square.

The leadership of the syndicate of workers employed in the spheres of radio-television and film condemned today the brutal conduct of the police towards accredited reporters and cameramen in our country, as well as towards all professionals who have been observing the events in Serbia.

The League for protection of private property and human rights condemned the use of force against the demonstrators in Belgrade and appealed to persons of eminence in the international community to "react effectively".

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