Demonstrators denounce "climate of fear" ahead of visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin
Protesters turned out in their thousands in the Serbian capital Belgrade to mark the first anniversary of the unsolved murder of a Kosovan Serb politician. The case of Oliver Ivanovic has become the focus of a movement that accuses Serbia and Kosovo of a cover up and demands more media freedom and an end to the violence.
“We don't know what happened and we don’t know who is next. So we are afraid anyone can be the next on Kosovo, Belgrade, Serbia. This is not a free society, we cannot live no longer in fear,” Aleksandar Dikic, opposition politician from the Democratic Party.
“So this is a crucial moment for Serbia because if we do not fight this evil, embodies in our government there will be no Serbia left,” said demonstrator Olivera Miladinovic.
Ivanovic was gunned down as he arrived at his party office in Mitrovica. Despite his own violent past he preached reconciliation between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo.
Three Serbs were arrested after the murder but were never charged. Protesters in Belgrade said their march was more than about Ivanovic. They say Aleksandar Vucic and his government are creating "a climate of fear".