Belgrade University Students threaten radicalization if demands aren’t met

NEWS 18.09.201913:17

A student activist of the 1 in 5 Million protest initiative said on Wednesday that the protest at the Belgrade University Rectorate would be made more radical if student demands are not met.

Mila Jovanovic told a news conference outside the building that students have been locked in since Friday that they want Rector Ivanka Popovic to recommend the dismissal of Finance Minister Sinisa Mali to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. She refused to specify how the protest would be made more radical.  

The students locked themselves in the Belgrade University Rectorate, demanding Mali’s dismissal over his doctoral thesis which is reported to have been plagiarized. A University commission investigated the plagiarism claims but reached no definitive conclusion and decided to refer the matter to the University School of Organizational Sciences where the minister completed his doctoral studies.  

Jovanovic told reporters that the students told Rector Popovic about another way to end the blockade of the Rectorate but did not give any details.  

The Rector met with the students inside the Rectorate earlier in the day but made no statement to the media after the two hour talks.

“We repeated our demand for the Rector to go public and recommend the dismissal of Finance Minister Mali,” Jovanovic said, recalling that the Rectorate depends on the Finance Ministry for funding which produces a conflict of interest. She said the Rector offered them compromises which they found offensive.  

Jovanovic said that Belgrade University has to condemn the assault on students by members of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) at the Rectorate before any negotiations with the students.