Attacks on journalists, Zikica Stevanovic, Luka Predja and Relja Pekic, Belgrade, 08.07.2020.

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    BELGRADE, July 8, 2020 – Journalist of Beta Zikica Stevanovic was beaten by members of the police at a protest that began in front of the National Assembly, and cameramen Luka Predja and Relja Pekic were hit with truncheons. At around 11 pm, after the police started pushing the protesters from Bulevar kralja Aleksandra towards Tasmajdan Park, journalist Stevanović found himself surrounded by police at one point, and the nearby streets were completely blocked, and he headed to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, where he came across the police in front of the Faculty of Law. Stevanovic kept his press ID all the time, the press card of the Beta agency, and when they approached, Zicica said: “Don’t, journalist!” he said he told the police and waved his press ID card, but they did not react in a way he thought they would, according to him they were even more brutal when they saw it. The journalist stated that he was first hit on the shoulder, then on the head, reflexively, and that he fell to the ground in order for it not to turn out that he resisted. When he fell to the ground, the Gendarmerie officers continued to hit him. It lasted for about 15 seconds, after which they stopped and headed deeper towards Bulevar kralja Aleksandra. One member of the police was returning, and while the journalist was still on the ground, bloody at the time, Stevanović repeated that he was a journalist, to avoid confusion, but the policeman started hitting him again with a truncheon. Citizens and colleagues Predja and Pekic came to Stevanovic’s aid, after which they helped him go to the Anlava clinic to take care ofthe injuries. Zikica Stevanovic submitted the report orally to the minutes at the police station. His colleagues Luka Pređa and Relja Pekić suffered several blows with a bat (truncheon) by the police, but fortunately, they passed without serious injuries.