Political Arrests in Belgrade
On Saturday, Sept. 4, five political activists were arrested in Belgrade on trumped up charges. The five, Tadej Kurep, 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 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 it is, the five were arrested, harrassed and are to be held in custody for at least one month while the case is organized.
Although one of the accused, General Secretary of the IWA Ratibor Trivunac clearly and publically declared that he knew nothing of the action, he was arrested. It is not the first time that authorities have come after him or his comrades for no other reason than the fact that they are radical critics of the state.
We are calling on people around the world to take action now!
If you can organize a protest at a Serbian Embassy, Consulate or other Diplomatic Mission, please do so ASAP. Rather than one day of action, we think actions can be spread out over a few days, but we think it’s best not to wait! Try to make an action by Sept. 15-16.
Also, send faxes and protest letters! We are including a list of addresses on this page. If you like, you can also send a letter to the government through this page. You can write your own text or use out sample text. Our page can keep a log of signatorees so we may pass them on to the comrades in Serbia so they know which organizations and people have sent protests.
Please send us information about your demos, protests or articles on the case!
FREE THE FIVE NOW!
ADDRESSES OF DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA:
Send a Protest Letter
Click below to send a protest letter to the government of Serbia. The letter will be automatically sent to the President, Prime Minister and Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs. We will keep track of the letters sent a send a list of groups and people supporting this case to the comrades from ASI.
You may use our sample letter or delete it and send your own text.
You may also change the email and name of the recipient. In this way you can also send emails to embassies.
If you do this, please delete the addresses already there. It may be best to use only one email at a time. Change the name of the recipient. (Names of recipients are separated by commas, as are the emails. Do not use commas therefore in the address of the recipient if there is only one recipient. For example, do not write “Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia” with a comma because this will be read by the computer as two recipients and the number of recipients must match the number of emails.)
On September, 4th 2009 District Court in Belgrade decided that arrested members of ASI will be held for thirty days in detention. Our comrades are accused of an act of international terrorism.
Union Confederation “Anarcho-syndicalist Initiative” found out about the attack on Greek embassy, and of the organisation that took the responsibility for this act, through media.
We use this opportunity to remind the public once again that these methods of individual political struggle are not methods of anarcho-syndicalism, quite the contrary – we proclaim our political positions publicly and through our work we seek to bring masses to the syndicalist movement and all the libertarian and progressive organisations.
Wanting to brutally suppress its fierce critics the state, through its mechanism of repression, acts with banal logic and maps as suspects those who explicitly stated their libertarian beliefs, and by their imprisonment ends the case and gives a false picture of its efficiency to the public.
Unscrupulous actions of regime’s organs can be observed from the first moments of arrest, unlawful searches of their apartments, intimidations of their families to extreme charges of international terrorism.
Given the fact that we do not support the acts of now famous anarchist group “Crni Ilija” (Black Iliya) we still cannot characterise what happened as “international terrorism”, because terrorism, by definition, entails threats to the lives of civilians, whereas in this case no one was even hurt and only symbolic material damage was done.
It is clear that this state produced farce is just one way of intimidating anyone who decides to point out the injustice and hopelessness of contemporary society.
In times of general social numbness individuals reach for the most unbelievable, sometimes even self-destructive, actions in order to break through the media blockade and to put their case in the centre of attention – let us remember the workers who cut off and eat their own fingers, or, for example, the unlucky, distressed man who threatened to activate a hand grenade in the building of the Presidency of Serbia – that is, trying to shed some light on their problems in a broader social space.
Lets not allow them to persuade us that one symbolic act of solidarity, even if expressed in a certainly ill manner, together with any other act of rebellion of those who are left with no rights should be treated as an antisocial act and an act of terrorism.
We express solidarity with the arrested comrades and their families and demand the truth about this case!
FREEDOM FOR ANARCHO-SYNDICALISTS!
Sept. 5, 2009