Demonstration organized in Belgrade to support activists who laid eggs at Mladic’s mural
Protesters gathered late on November 9 in central Belgrade in response to the arrest of two activists who laid eggs at a mural of Ratko Mladic, a convicted war criminal who was the wartime commander of the Bosnian Serbs.
Members of non-governmental organizations joined by citizens tried to rally on the street where the mural is located to mark the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism, but police cordoned off the area, preventing them from s ‘approach it.
Earlier today, the Serbian police briefly detained activists Aida Corovic and Jelena Jacimovic after throwing eggs on the fresco. They were held for a few hours and released.
Corovic said in a statement that the act was “completely spontaneous”.
She said the officials who arrested her and Jacimovic did not identify themselves as police officers when they asked for their identity cards. The two women were placed in a police van and taken to a police station before being released.
“We have targeted the mural of a convicted golden criminal, we will be symbolically punished and the mural is protected,” she said.
In a statement, the Serbian Interior Ministry said police enforce public order and ban all public gatherings related to the mural.
Mladic, 79, led the Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995 and was convicted by a United Nations tribunal of war crimes, including the murder of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern town of Srebrenica in 1995.
The man nicknamed the Bosnian Butcher is serving a life sentence. His appeal against his 2017 conviction for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes was dismissed by the Hague-based tribunal in June.
But many in Serbia still consider Mladic to be a war hero.
A group of around 10 right-wingers appeared at the site where police arrested non-state activists and citizens and shouted their support for Mladic. The group supporting the activists responded with chants demanding that the mural be dropped.
Police intervened and prevented contact between the two groups, and activists and citizens quickly dispersed, according to an RFE / RL journalist.
Later that evening, a bouquet of flowers was placed in front of the fresco.