Political Arrests in Belgrade
ON DECEMBER 7, THE COURT DECIDED TO HOLD THE 6 IN CUSTODY UNTIL THEIR TRIAL. THIS IS EXPECTED TO TAKE PLACE IN SPRING AT THE EARLIEST.
ABOUT THE CASE
On Saturday, Sept. 4, five* political activists were arrested in Belgrade on trumped up charges. The five, Tadej Kurepa, Ivan Vulović, Sanja Dojkić, Ratibor Trivunac and Nikola Mitrovic, are activists in or associates of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative, the Serbian section of the International Workers’ Association (IWA). (* The sixth person sought by police, Ivan Savic, was also arrested some days later.)The arrests are allegedly related to a direct action which took place at the Greek Embassy on Aug. 25. Negligible damage was done; a crack in one window, a tiny burn mark on the facade and a circled A graffiti on the embassy as a act of symbolic solidarity with Thodoros Iliopoulos. The prosecutor however imagines this as an act of “international terrorism” and would like to charge our comrades with such. If the state allows such charges to be pressed, they could be facing 3-15 years in prison. As of today (Oct.11), no charges have been pressed yet against the comrades. Yet they have been in remand over one month and may be kept as long as six months still without charges. In the meanwhile, they are not allowed contact with the outside world. In the first week of Oct., the prosecutor asked the judge for permission to keep the Belgrade six locked up for 2 more months during the investigative phase. The judge agreed to one more month. It is not clear whether this may be extended. Charges must be pressed within 7 days of closing the investigation but it is not clear when this should happen. Members of ASI have clearly and publically declared that they knew nothing of the action, which was claimed by a group nobody has heard of, Crni Ilja. It is quite clear that the main reason the activists from ASI have been arrested in political. In addition, we may see that the government is quite hypocritical and selective about who they repress; as members of ASI pointed out, when a much more serious incident occurred at the American Embassy a year earlier, the government did not bother to start a campaign of repression. Since the arrest of the comrades, protests have taken play in many parts of the world. Thousands of people have sent letters of protest to the Serbian government. Everybody is united in demanding their release. Please send us information about your demos, protests or articles on the case! FREE THE BELGRADE SIX NOW! ADDRESSES OF DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA: http://www.mfa.gov.rs/Worldframe.htm