Šešelj’s Provocative Rally Banned by Serbian Police

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 20, 2018 – The Serbian Ministry of the Interior will not allow any political rallies to be held in Hrtkovci on May 6, Minister Nebojša Stefanović said on Friday, adding that “the citizens can be calm and peaceful.”

A large rally has been announced there by the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) of convicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj, after which opposition parties the Democratic Party (DS) and the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV) have announced counter-rallies.

Šešelj has threatened lawmakers from the two parties Tomislav Žigmanov, Aleksandra Jerkov and Nenad Čanak, saying that he is “ready to repeat the war crimes that are attributed to him.” Žigmanov is a leader of Croats living in Serbia.

Minister Stefanović said that no political rallies would be allowed in Hrtkovci because “Serbia will not allow any threats against law and order and civil liberties.” “As far as we are concerned, the citizens can be completely calm and peaceful, and political rallies can be held in the National Assembly where deputies can confront each others’ views in accordance with the law,” the minister said.

Hrtkovci is a village in Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina which had a Croat-majority population before the 1991-1995 war. The rally announced by Šešelj is seen as an act of provocation because it would be held on the 26th anniversary of a rally which prompted expulsions of Croats from the village at the start of the war. The Hague-based Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the successor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has imposed a ten-year prison sentence on Šešelj for expulsions of Vojvodina Croats.

DS official Balša Božović said that if the Radicals and Šešelj were to go to Hrtkovci, the DS would also be there to protect their fellow citizens “if the state authorities have no intention of stopping the convicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj and punishing him for his statement that he will repeat his crimes.”

“We will be forced to do it ourselves, to protect the people whom Šešelj is again threatening with expulsion and violence,” Božović told media.

LSV leader Nenad Čanak said that Šešelj and the SRS were a disgrace for Serbia and Europe.


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