In the meantime, a bucket of paint was thrown on the mural this morning. The latest intervention is one in a series of attempts to, as Kontrapress portal writes, “repair” the mural painted on the corner of Njegoševa and Aleksa Nenadović Street in Belgrade.
Kontrapress documented some of the attempts in a video that also shows the speed with which the mural was restored to its original condition each time. According to the same source, part of the residents of the surrounding buildings asked the authorities to remove the mural, and the same was requested by non-governmental organizations.
Antiwar activists scheduled the removal of the mural – dedicated to a war criminal convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide and crimes against humanity – to mark the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, aka the Hague tribunal, has convicted Mladic for persecutions, extermination, murder, deportation, the inhumane act of forcible transfer, unlawful attacks on civilians and hostage-taking.
The Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs prevented the removal of the mural with the argument that it prevents possible incidents between groups of citizens who are for and those who are against its removal, so the location was secured by the police yesterday. In the late afternoon, human rights activist Aida Ćorović and artist Jelena Jaćimović threw eggs at the mural, after which they were first forcefully dragged away by a group of men in ordinary clothing, and then taken into custody by uniformed police officers.
Citizens reacted to the arrest of Ćorović and Jaćimović with a protest rally last night. After gathering in the city centre, citizens, representatives of the civil society and the opposition walked to Njegoševa street, where a police cordon prevented them from approaching the mural. The location was also visited by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin. According to Nova.rs portal, at the same time, members of far-right organizations, including members of the so-called “People’s Patrols”, gathered and tried to break through the cordon, while threatening citizens and journalists. The same source claims that individuals from this group threw boards at the gathered citizens.
Ćorović and Jaćimović were released after short police interrogation. According to N1, last night Ćorović received several brutal threats.
Translation: Iskra Krstić
This article was ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in Serbian on Nov 10, 2021.