Serbia scraps curfew plan for Belgrade after protests

People sit down in protest against the strict measures to fight the coronavirus in Belgrade, Serbia, 09 July 2020. Thousands gathered in front of the Serbian Parliament in Belgrade to protest the new measures to stem the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC

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The Serbian government has scrapped a plan to impose a weekend coronavirus curfew in Belgrade after two nights of protests in the capital.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced more limited measures, including a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

President Aleksandar Vucic had wanted the curfew due to a rise in infections.

Human rights groups accused the authorities of a heavy-handed approach and urged restraint. Dozens of police and protesters have been injured.

Protesters are gathering again on Thursday evening but have been sitting on the ground in front of the National Assembly, BBC Serbian reports.

They say they want to distinguish themselves from violent groups that started clashes on the previous nights. President Vucic has blamed far-right nationalists for stirring up trouble on those occasions.

The first night of protests began peacefully outside the National Assembly on Tuesday evening but later turned violent. Crowds broke into the building, prompting police to intervene.

Thousands of people turned out for a second night of protests late on Wednesday, blaming the government for the spike in infections. Protests were reported in other cities including Nis and Novi Sad.

Read more via BBC

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