EU Ambassador to Serbia condemns assault on opposition members, EU officials urged to react

Sem Fabrizi; Photo: Tanjug / Dimitrije Goll

BELGRADE – EU Ambassador to Serbia Sem Fabrizi has condemned yesterday’s assault on the president of Levica Srbije (Serbian Left) party Borko Stefanović and two party activists.

“I heard with great concern about the aggression towards Borko Stefanović. Political adversaries cannot be transformed into enemies. Politically motivated violence is not acceptable and should be condemned”, wrote Fabrizi on Twitter.

Stefanović was assaulted on Friday afternoon in the town of Kruševac before a townhall meeting of the opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia. During the incident, the back of his head was cracked by a metal rod, for which he ended up in hospital, while two Serbian Left activists were also injured.

Ministry of Interior stated last night that two of the persons suspected for the assault have been arrested, while the police has been intensively searching for the third one.

Stefanović has characterized the assault as an “organised assassination attempt”. During the press conference in Belgrade, he said that the attackers are close to a controversial businessman from Kruševac, who is in turn connected to the director of Security-intelligence Agency Bratislav Gašić. He added that they have been known to the police from before.

Today, President of the People’s Party and Stefanović’s coalition partner Vuk Jeremić urged EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini not to ignore this incident.

Jeremić tweeted photos of Stefanović immediately after the assault, with a message: “Dear Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, allow me to draw your attention to the brutal beating up of one of Serbia’s opposition leaders Borko Stefanović, as he was entering a townhall meeting of the Alliance for Serbia. THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT. Do not ignore this, before it becomes too late.”