Clashes Break Out

Jul 10, 2020

On the night of 8 July 2020, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers near the National Assembly building in the capital Belgrade for a second consecutive day. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers, who deployed tear gas canisters in response to disperse the crowd. Subsequently, hundreds of protesters gathered in central Belgrade as additional police officers in armored vehicles were deployed across the city. A total of 17 demonstrators and 19 police officers were injured during the violence. Elsewhere in Serbia, demonstrations occurred in the cities of Smederevo, Kragujevac, Nis and Novi Sad — where protesters threw rocks at City Hall, a media outlet and facilities belonging to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). On the previous day, demonstrators gathered in Belgrade following President Aleksandar Vucic’s announcement that the government is reinstating a curfew in the city during the upcoming weekend, while also imposing other coronavirus-related restrictions, including a countrywide ban on gatherings of more than five people. Vucic has since backtracked his decision to reinstate the curfew, although other restrictions are likely to be announced later on 9 July. There has been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Belgrade and at least three other cities in the country after officials annulled restrictive measures in May and held parliamentary elections on 21 June.

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