NGOs call President to cancel SNS rally

miting sns pančevo
Tanjug/Rade Prelić

Several civil society organizations on Tuesday called Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to cancel the May 26 Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) rally in Belgrade.

A statement called the president to cancel the mass gathering because of the danger of fanning tension and further polarizing society. “The fact that we lost 18 lives to mindless violence, mainly children and young people, must not be the reason for inter-party competition to “flex muscles” and counting supporters. It is an alarm for the state that you represent to use institutional mechanisms to focus on healing society’s wounds and introduce measures to prevent similar tragic events,” it said.

Belgrade Mayor Aleksandar Sapic said the rally is not a call for conflict but a gathering of peace, unity and hope. “Future plans will be mentioned by politics will take a back seat because of the tragedy,” he said and added that the people gathering at anti-violence protests are not the enemy.

The statement said that the justified wrath of the public spilled out onto the streets of Belgrade with demands to provide their children and themselves elementary security and stop the spread of violence.

The statement was signed by the Belgrade Center for Human Rights, CRTA, Catalyst Balkan, Center for Contemporary Politics, Civic Initiatives, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Partners Serbia, Slavko Curuvija Foundation and the Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute.