Protests started out in Serbia, after President’s announcement that new lockdown measures would be reintroduced amid increasing coronavirus cases. During two consecutive nights of protests, violent attacks were recognized against journalists which caused concerns among The European and International Federations of Journalists who condemned the attacks. In a statement, Human Rights House also condemned police brutality during the protests in Belgrade, stating that the police’s reaction during the protest contains elements of a severe violation of freedom of assembly and torture. In a letter, a group of Serbian CSOs invited EU to remain true to its own founding values and norms by demanding concrete track record in the implementation of rule of law and fundamental democratic principles in the country. Furthermore, CIVICUS urges Serbian authorities to stop using force to disperse protesters demonstrating against the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for an independent investigation into violent attacks on protesters by police. Read more here.
Source: Human Rights House/ Safejournalists/ European Western Balkans/ CIVICUS