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Serbia protests: Anti-government coalition demands release of detained students


The recent elections in the country have sparked unprecedented protests against the government, accused of having manipulated the vote in its favor.


Activists and opposition parties marched in Belgrade on Tuesday night demanding the release from custody of around 30 students detained during the weekend protests.

The protest is the ninth since December’s general election, which was widely accused of being illegally rigged in the government’s favor.

Sunday’s protest, during which students were arrested, was the first to turn violent since the protests began. Eight police officers were also injured in the protest, according to the head of the Interior Ministry’s police department, Ivica Ivkovic.

“Those arrested are suspected of attempting to violently change the constitutional order and of violent behavior in a public meeting according to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia,” Ivkovic said, adding that the number of arrests will likely increase.

On Tuesday evening people gathered in front of the headquarters of the Republican Election Commission (REC) in Belgrade. Serbia Against Violence, a coalition of opposition political parties, is calling for the elections to be annulled.

The elections saw President Aleksandar Vučić’s Serbian Progressive Party return to power with a majority in parliament.

However, national and international observers reported “irregularities”, denouncing the stuffing of ballot boxes and vote buying.

In an emergency address to the nation on Sunday evening, Vučić blamed the unrest on foreign interference and rejected accusations of fraud.

The electoral commission announced on Wednesday that elections will be held again in just 30 polling stations out of 8,000 nationwide.

Germany on Monday condemned reported election irregularities as “unacceptable” in a country bidding to join the European Union.

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