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Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating in Serbia against the escalating wave of violence


Thousands of people demonstrated in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on Friday, amid growing fears of a rise in crime rates, after two mass shootings that killed 18 people this month.

It is the third mass demonstration in weeks, organized under the slogan “Serbia against Violence”, and has prompted thousands to take to the streets to demand the resignation of senior officials.

“We are angry, in shock and disbelief,” said Jelena Mihajlovic, who took part in Friday’s demonstration in front of parliament.

Serbia has not seen demonstrations of this scale since the massive popular protests that led to the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic more than two decades ago. The demonstrators demanded that the government revoke the licenses of television channels that promote violent content, and impose a ban on pro-government newspapers they accuse of stirring up tensions, in addition to the resignation of the Minister of Interior and the head of the intelligence service.

On Friday, members of the pro-European opposition also left a special parliamentary session, where they accused the ruling party and its allies of seeking to “quell the demonstrations” rather than addressing the issues raised by the demonstrators. “We do not want to be part of this… We will join the citizens in their protests,” Zoran Lutovac, head of the Democratic Party, told reporters.

But Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic rejected these protests, describing them as just a “political” game, announcing that a demonstration for his supporters would be organized next week, which would be “the largest gathering in the history of Serbia.” His ally, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, also accused “foreign intelligence services” of fomenting unrest after the shootings. Fire to destabilize Serbia.

Vucic pledged to “disarm” the Serbs through an ambitious plan, targeting both licensed and unlicensed weapons. Serbia has the highest rate of gun ownership in Europe, with about 39 people out of every 100 owning a firearm, according to the Small Arms Survey.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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