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Serbia: repression of activists continues

EIGHT PEOPLE were arrested at a peaceful anti-NATO march in Belgrade on 12 June. Charges are being pressed against six arrestees for “obstructing police officers in their line of duty”. Amongst those arrested was Ratibor Trivunac, an activist with the union initiative ASI. He has been charged with “organising an unreported demonstration” despite only returning from Macedonia -  where he had been for several days  - on the day of the march.

Last year Trivunac was one of the ‘Belgrade 6’ framed on bogus charges of ‘international terrorism’, and spent 6 months in prison awaiting trial, where he was subjected to abuse and torture. At trial, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

This time his trial took place behind closed doors and with only police officers as witnesses. He was immediately sentenced to 15 days in prison. A supporter commented that this “is a continuation of the constant harassment, intimidation, criminalisation and slurs that the libertarian movement faces in Serbia.” Serbia, an aspirant EU member state is sensitive to criticism of its human rights record.

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