BRUSSELS – European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilčik condemned violence that occurred last night in front of the National Assembly of Serbia.
“I have been following recent events in Belgrade with great concern. I strongly condemn all violence that occurred last night in front of the Serbian Parliament; violence against peaceful protesters and brutal tactics cannot be an answer when people exercise their right of assembly”, Bilčik said.
He added that the right to express one’s opinion in a peaceful manner must be respected.
“At the same time, attacks on law enforcement officers and destruction of property are unacceptable means of public frustration”, Bilčik said.
Photos and videos of people seriously injured in the clashes with the police surfaced the social networks on Tuesday evening, while the Director of Police Vladimir Rebić claimed that the police used proportional force and that some of its members were injured as well.
In his statement, Bilčik said that he is concerned with the reports of a rise in COVID-19 infections in Serbia, reminding that the pandemic is far from being over in Europe and responsible caution must be exercised by all in coming weeks and months.
“At the same time, fight against the pandemic cannot be used as a political weapon. I urge the citizens to follow the advice of competent authorities while it is essential that the public is duly and fully informed of the COVID-19 situation across Serbia”, Bilčik stressed.
Allegations of Serbian Government covering up the true numbers were first brought up by investigative journalists in June and have been in public ever since.
“We, Europeans, must remain united in fighting the spread of the virus. The European Union has already shown our unwavering commitment to solidarity with the people of Serbia since the start of the pandemic and we stand ready to continue our fight against the virus with our partners in the Western Balkans”, concluded Bilčik.