Severity: Warning Alert

Civil Unrest: Further demonstrations are likely through July 17 in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Nis, Serbia, following major demonstrations July 7-9.

  • Alert Begins: 10 Jul 2020 07:28 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 17 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Event: Protests
  • Location(s): Major Cities (map)
  • Time Frame: Through July 17
  • Impact: Increased security, localized disruptions; isolated clashes possible

Summary
Opposition parties and activist groups will likely continue to protest in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis, and other cities through July 17 to denounce the reintroduction of measures to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and what demonstrators perceive as mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis by the government. Organizers have also condemned police violence during spontaneous protests on the evening of July 7 against the new measures. Precedence suggests participants will likely demonstrate in front of the National Assembly in Belgrade and on Freedom Square in Novi Sad. Participants may march through city centers. Attendance at demonstrations will likely be in the low to mid thousands.

An increased police presence is highly likely. Large crowds and associated security measures are likely to prompt localized disruptions. Current COVID-19 measures in Serbia severely restrict public gatherings, particularly in Belgrade, where gatherings in excess of five persons are banned. Police may disperse participants deemed to be breaching COVID-19 restrictions. Additionally, the police may clash with protesters who may attempt to storm the National Assembly in Belgrade, as occurred on the evening of July 7. Authorities have placed barricades around the building in an effort to prevent protesters from gaining access; an elevated police presence in the area is likely regardless of whether activists protest outside the building. Any violence would pose an incidental threat to bystanders.

Advice
Avoid all protests as a standard precaution. If violence erupts, leave the area immediately. Allow extra time for travel in downtown Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis, and other cities on evenings through July 17.


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