Anarhisti na slobodi: Belgrade Six Update

There has been some very good news in the case of the Belgrade Six, which we previously posted on here. First, two reports from February 18 on B92 TV (in Serbian):

And here is a summary of the day’s events that has been posted on the Denver Anarchist Black Cross blog:

Serbia: Belgrade Six released, charges reduced

The fight is not over, the Belgrade 6 may still face serious charges when they return to court on the 23rd March. We must keep up the pressure on the Serbian state. But the fact that they have been released and the terrorist charges dropped is a massive victory, But the campaign must continue until all charges are dropped and the Serbian state is held accountable for [its] actions.

The following is a compilation of two reports, one being the translation from the FAU report, and the other report from the IWA Secretary.  In sum, they state that the Six are released “on bail” to return for trial the 23rd of March, and the terrorism charges have been reduced to some lesser charge:

A couple of hundred people came to court today to attend the trial of the Belgrade 6. Despite the fact that a large room was supposed to be ordered, the court was apparently too afraid of the crowd and very few activists were let in. (They also were insisting that nobody could sit in the first row of the court and claiming the room was full.) This was a very tense situation and during this, 3 people were arrested for hanging a sign on the door reading “Anarchism is not Terrorism.”

During the trial it came out that one of the six, Ivan Savic, was tortured and forced to sign a confession to yet another plot. The six were released for now and the next hearing is scheduled for March 23. There are rumours that the charges will be changed. [rumors confirmed; see below]

After the trial there was a discussion about the case with many people there. The surprise visitors to the panel discussion were Ratibor and Tadej who, as soon as they were released, showed up at the discussion. They were in a good mood; the others went home to get some rest after their ordeal.

IWA Secretary:

I am writing from the trial of Belgrade 6 and I wanted to give a brief report to the sections on what was happening, more information will follow.

There was a tremendous turn out of supporters for the start of the Belgrade 6 case. There was also many supporters from outside Serbia, which included many supporters from the IWA sections. All the main Serbian TV channels were also present.

Little information come from inside the courts, so it was a long day for supporters waiting outside with all sorts of conflicting rumors circulating about what was happening inside. Our concerns were only increased when several anarchist from Croatia were arrested for unfolding a banner which read ANARCHISM IS NOT TERRORISM. They now face up to a month in prison

At 3.30pm loud clapping come from inside the court. A few minutes later supporters, who had been allowed in the court, emerged to announce that the Belgrade 6 were going to be released in effect on bail. There was plenty of confusion but it later confirmed that they were going to be released until March 23rd when they would still face terrorist charges.

But the fact that they had been released was a tremendous victory. Later in the evening the Belgrade 6 were informed that the charges of terrorism would be dropped and replaced with a lessor charge. Needless to say the mood among the family and supporters was euphoric.

At the meeting after the release we were informed about some disturbing treatment the Belgrade 6 had received while they were in prison.

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Filed under activism, film and video, international affairs, political repression

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