Serbians protest violence following two mass killings

Serbians protest brutality following two mass killings.
Image: Reuters

Tens of thousands of Serbians gathered to the streets on Monday to demand stronger security. They also demanded a ban on violent TV content, and the resignation of important officials. This is only days after two mass shootings killed 17 people.

Protesters holding a banner reading “Serbia Against Violence” marched solemnly through the center of Belgrade, Serbia’s capital.

“We have gathered here to pay our last respects, to do our best so that this never happens again, anywhere. According to Belgrade resident Borivoje Plecevic.

On Wednesday, a student who brought two weapons to school shot and killed eight classmates and a security officer. Six other pupils and their teacher were also injured.

The next day, a 21-year-old man with an assault rifle and a pistol killed eight people and wounded fourteen others. Both shooters surrendered to the police.

Protesters and opposition allies have asked for the shutdown of television networks and tabloids that they claim normalize and glorify violence and obscenity.

The opposition and various rights groups have accused President Aleksandar Vucic and his populist Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of tyranny, persecution of media freedoms, violence against political opponents, corruption, and ties to organized crime. The claims have been refuted by Vucic and his allies.

Protests happened in other parts of the country

Vucic said that Monday’s protesters were seeking to destabilize the country by deposing him. Without specifying a date, he stated his readiness to organize a fast election to assess his party’s status.

I will continue to work and will never give in to the street or the throng….It’s unclear if this implies a cabinet reshuffle or a special election, he said on live TV.

Serbia will elect its parliament in 2026, and its president in 2027.

Other demands included the immediate dissolution of the government’s Regulatory Committee for Electronic Media (REM), as well as the resignations of Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic and State Security Director Aleksandar Vulin. Branko Ruzic, the education minister, resigned on Sunday.

Protesters demanded that the legislature convene immediately to examine the status of security.

Snezana, a woman in her 60s who did not want her last name revealed, characterized it as a show of “solidarity against violence in the media, in the parliament, in everyday life… solidarity because of lost children.” Similar protests were held in other Serbian cities.

In response to the bloodshed, Serbian police have announced a month-long amnesty for illegal guns, which started on Monday. It was reported that around 1500 packages were dispersed on the first day alone.

Vucic ordered police to check weapon registrations.

Following the battles that tore apart the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Serbia and the rest of the Western Balkans are awash with military-grade weapons and explosives in civilian hands

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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