Academic community: We support citizens’ demands

REUTERS/Marko Djurica

The teaching staff, researchers and associates of Serbian universities and institutes, 492 of them, signed a proclamation fully supporting the demands of the civic protests and requesting that they be immediately fulfilled.

“For a whole decade Serbia has been a country in which there is no freedom of media. Serbian public space is polluted by hatred and violence, mostly coming from the ‘national frequencies’ that are a public good,” reads the proclamation.

For a whole decade, “Serbia has been a country in which there is no political accountability,” they said.

“Instead, the highest virtue in our society is a submissive attitude towards the government. For this reason the response to the dreadful tragedies that befell Serbia this spring boiled down to the attempts of those in power to avoid any political accountability.”

“Government representatives responded to the cries of citizens demanding that Serbia no longer be such a country with insults, lies and synchronized harassment of public figures from the world of culture who dared to express their opinion,” they said.

“At the last protest the column of dozens of thousands of citizens in Belgrade was led by our students. The call of university teaching staff and associates is, therefore, an attempt to build Serbia as a country in which our students will see their future. Not a Serbia of subjects, but a Serbia of free citizens. This is not a Serbia of violence, but a Serbia freed from fear. Finally, it is a Serbia where institutions are not just buildings outside which citizens gather for protests,” reads the proclamation.