Serbia protests against lockdown continues for second night

Serbia protests against lockdown continues for second night

In Serbia, for two consecutive nights violent protests have taken place against government plans to reimpose epidemiological restrictions to limit a repeated surge in cases of COVID-19 infections.

The protests erupted in the capital Belgrade on July 7 at night after thousands of people streamed into the city centre to protest President Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that authorities would reimpose a round-the-clock weekend lockdown.

On Wednesday, July 8, Serbian security forces deployed armoured transporters, mounted police and dogs as anti-government protesters gathered in downtown Belgrade.

Police used tear gas as scuffles broke out in Belgrade and Serbia’s second city of Novi Sad. Press images from the city showed fire in the Novi Sad city hall. In Nis, the country’s third-largest city, protesters threw rocks at the ruling party headquarters.

Protesters are angry at the government for the current infection spread. The authorities, led by Vučić, imposed draconian lockdown measures in the earlier stages of the outbreak only to lift all coronavirus restrictions as the country was nearing a parliamentary election. Vučić had insisted on pushing ahead with the June 21 vote, which saw his Serbian Progressive Party and its coalition score a resounding victory.

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