Tue, 29/12/2009 - 22:03

Statement the Serbian Anarcho-syndicalist group ASI presented to the
International Workers Association Congress in 2009 on the states
attempts to fit up six anarchists.

Report on circumstances which led to arrest of Belgrade anarchists and International terrorism charges

In the night between 24th and 25th of August 2009, some time after
3am, two Molotov cocktails were thrown on Greek embassy in Belgrade.
Act ended with a damaged window and minor damage to façade, the fire
didn`t spread to the interior of the building and small fire that was
started was quickly extinguished. No one was hurt in this `attack`
because there were no people at the embassy at that time and on the
following morning all embassy services started working on schedule.
Greek embassy officials stated that the damage was insignificant –
`Embassy is working without any problems. We`re issuing visas and we`re
working with citizens as usual`. Serbian ministry of interior (MUP)
immediately contacted embassy officials to make sure that everything is
in order, and condemned the attack. During afternoon 25th of August,
until then unknown anarchist group `Black Ilja`(Crni Ilija) took over
the responsibility for the attack and sent the following announcement
to the media: "Our comrade Todoris Iliopulos, who was arrested during
the popular uprising in Greece during December 2008, is at hunger
strike for already 46 days demanding to be released. While trying to
set an example to anyone who will dare to fight for freedom, Greek
state is leading a fabricated process against comrade Todoris. Belgrade
anarchists have decided to join comrades in Greece, and the whole world
in actions of solidarity with Todoris, by demanding his release. That
is why the members of our group attacked the Greek embassy in Belgrade
with Molotov cocktails during the last night. We will continue with our
activities until comrade Iliopulus is released! Fredom for Todoris! "

Anarchist group "Black Ilija" (Crni Ilija)

Todoris Iliopulos was arrested on December 22nd 2008 during the
unrest in Athens, which started after a 15 year Alexandros
Grigoropoulos was shot and killed by a police officer in Excharheia
district on December 15th. He was held in Koridlao prison from the time
of arrest until August 28th, when he was let out on conditiona release.
He is accused of two criminal acts (attack on police with Molotov
cocktails) and few offences. All the time during his stay in prison,
Iliopulos claimed that the charges against him were based on statements
of police officers. He started his hunger strike on July the 10th this
year, when his health and life were in danger after more than 40 days
of hunger strike, a call was made on a number of anarchist webportals,
on “Action for liberation of Iliopulos” and other activities such as
propaganda, info-actions, meetings, discussions – with a goal of
immediate release of Todoris. These actions were scheduled to start on
August 24th at 8pm.

Media pressure – Preparation for a farce called “Terrorism”

The president of Serbia, Boris Tadi?, has condemned the incident and
in a conversation with Greek ambassador in Serbia, Dimostenis Stodis,
threatened that the state will take all necessary steps to find and
adequately punish the offenders, which announced the political process
which will e held against six Begrade anarchists. The leading media in
Serbia, have, by the order of state, started focusing their reporting
towards making ideal circumstances neutralization and elimination of
leftist groups as well as critical thinking in general. There were
speculations of internationally coordinated terrorist actions via
anarchist web-portals, after which the preparation meetig for Balkan
Anarchistic Book Fair, which was held at the beginning of July of this
year, was mentioned in the context of preparation for attack on Greek
embassy, and finally a `source close with the investigation` has stated
in the media that the case can be characterized as a terrorist attack,
but at the moment no one can say that with certainty. `Good informed
defense analysts` have also insinuated that the Serbian anarchists
committed this act in order to be noticed by (demonized by the media)
Greek anarchists ad by that get logistic and economic support from
them. Zoran Dragisic, Assistant Professor of Faculty of safety and one
of the founders of the new Social Democratic Party of Serbia,
considered how it was an organized attack and that certain ideological
and political intentions stand behind it: "Our security services should
seriously address this group. Another problem is that the Embassy of a
proven friendly country was attacked. All these left-wing and rightwing
groups that resort to violence must be neutralized. Security services
need to monitor all suspicious groups and then arrest those who
committed violence. If the state can not stop them, it would be a sign
that these groups are stronger than the state. We would then have to
pay them taxes, not the state. It cannot be a question of whether the
state can do this, it must! Anarchist as well as profascits groups are
a serious threat to public order. From the security point of view,
their ideological differences are irrelevant as long as they violate
the law. It is necessary to urgently implement the arrest, court
processing and impose harsh penalties, and the activities of the
organization, must be under constant supervision, which is the work of
BIA (safety and inteligence agency). "Dragiši? also pointed out that
such activities can evolve into terrorism, and shouldn`t be
underestimated. Božidar Spasi? (former head of UDBA) considers that the
aim of this action was a atraction of attention of Greek anarchists:
"Such an attack could not be done without a good preparation and
monitoring of the Embassy, where the security and the building itself
was monitored for at least ten days, where someone was sitting in the
surrounding cafes and all carefully recorded. It is a worrying factis
that there was no reaction from embassy security during the attack on
the building, but also a cooperation between Greek and Serbian police
in providing information about the anarchists in their countrie." He
adds that: "the anarchists in Greece have gotten so strong that in
addition to wing, they also have an economic one that deals with the
abductions of Greek tycoons, businessman and attacks banks, and thus
acquire a huge amounts money used to finance the attacks. Because of
that they are classified in rank with the most dangerous terrorist
organizations like ETA and IRA." Until `Black Ilija` case, anarchists
in Serbia haven`t been known to the public by the violent and radical
actions. Activities os Serbian anarchists were known to the general
public are sharing leaflets in front of faculties adn factorise,
spraying graffities, publishing, and organizing cultural events and
discussions, as well as participation in the workers' and student

Arrest, investigation, and international terrorism

Members anarchosyndicalist initiative (ASI) Sanja Dojki?, Ratibor
Trivunac, Tadej Kurepa and Ivan Vulovic, were on the 3rd of September
detained in the police station suspected of having committed a criminal
act of causing a general danger, where they remanded in custody for 48
hours. The police brutally carried out arrests, coming the in
apartments without a warrant and ill-treating family members of our
comrades. The next day, 4th of September, Nikola mItrovi? was also
arrested, who is not a member anarchosyndicalist intitative, and the
police announced wanted Ivan Savi?, who also isn’t a member of ASI, and
twas at the time on summer vacation. The investigating judge has, in a
request for an investigation, classified the foregoing offenses as
international terrorism (punishable by 3-15 years inprisonment) and a
custody for all the arrested for a period of a month. Detained comrades
were entitled to get in contact with lawyers and the right to a visit
from close family members once in fifteen days. All other visits,
communication with the public, and mutual communication among the
arrested comrades were banned. The decision of the prosecution to start
investigation with assumption the it is crime of international
terrorism, it grew, until then unknown anarchist, a group of "Black
Ilija" in the line of world-known terrorist organizations like
al-Qaida, the IRA or the ETA . Immediately after the release of
qualification, the media have published polic photos of the arresteded,
with the titles that pronounce them guilty in advance. Special
Prosecution spokesman Tomo Zori? said that "investigations is to show
whether it is terrorism or an act of causing a general danger. What is
not debatable is that they will certainly be accused of a crime. "
After the publication of qualifications, Zoran Dragisic spoke again who
said that "we should bear in mind that anarchists have a sort of its
own International. However, the extent to which there is a connection
between those who threw our Molotov cocktails at the Greek Embassy and
the Greek anarchists, they advertise in their statement that they did
that because of the situation in Greece, and this relationship is based
on it. However, the real question is whether this relationship really
exists and whether the attack on the embassy was inspired by the
international anarchist movement." Vladimir Todori? from legal revue
said that "throwing cocktails for political reasons at the Embassy of
Greece which was officially exteritorial, meet some of the conditions
for qualification of international terrorism", while in the other hand,
lawyer Dragoljub Todorovi?, counsel of one of the suspects, said that
in this case the consequences are missing, and that the embassy
remained whole, and that the work was done at night with the apparent
intention for no victims to be made. Lawyer dr Radonja Dubljevi? also
representative of one of the six suspects, said that in connection with
this case in there is some illogicality. "The first is that in the
pre-trial proceedings, which led by the police, treated crime as
causing general danger, which is designed for a prison sentence of up
to five years, to the proceedings before the court there was a big
turnaround, crime was treated as an international terrorism for which
the prison sentence of three to 15 years. One must ask the question
what happened in that short time interval, from the police to court. "
Dubijevi? added that the prosecutor failed to take into account that
the notion of terrorism has founded its own scientific definition and
as a political and legal institutions defined, and that as such can not
be made with a device such as a Molotov cocktail, or in this case,
device that was thrown at the embassy of Greece. It is interesting that
in the case of two Molotov cocktails thrown the Greek Embassy rated as
a more difficult crime than burning the American Embassy, February
2008. in Belgrade, when one person lost his life in a fire inside the
Embassy. In the burning of the American Embassy one person was accused
of a crime causing general danger, for which the Criminal Code
envisages punishment of one to six years imprisonment, while in the
case of international terrorism punishment is three to fifteen years.
This crime is one of the most difficult and is in the group with
genocide and war crimes. The definition of terrorism is the
premeditated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to
instillation of fear with the intention of coercion and intimidation of
government and society to achieve goals that are generally political
religious or ideological. Key elements of terrorism are a threat,
violence, force, fear, political effect and purpose; psychological
effect, a random selection of targets and victims, deliberately planned
and systematically organized actions, a way of fighting against the
legal act - from which it can be concluded that terrorism is an ilegal
act of violence directed against a specific country with the intent to
cause fear or collective damages, to achieve a political goal. The four
main elements of terrorism are:

1. The objectives of the activities are usually always political,
whether it is a regime shift, shift the person in power, secession of
certain territory or parts.
2. The use of violence or threat of use of violence
3. The victims are usually innocent citizens
4. Lack of direct links between terrorists and victims, ie. attack is
not directed towards the victim or victims individually, but the
terrorist act would send a message to wider community.

Reactions of the public and the introduction of repression

On Sunday, 6th of September a protest was organized in solidarity
with arrested comrades in front of the Philosophy Faculty in Belgrade.
The protest was attended by about 40 anarchists and friends of those
arrested, carrying a banner: IT WILL NOT PASS! Protesting against very
hard qualifications imposed by the prosecution, and abuse of laws by
the state to justify the use of repressive measures. In the
proclamation read at the protest it was pointed out that :

"at the moment when the rights and
freedoms in Serbia are seriously constrict by enactment amending the
Criminal Code and Law on Public Information, the initiation of
proceedings for an act of international terrorism against the six
arrested, indicates the intention of certain state structures that
increasing the degree of repression and abuse of legal provisions
gradually discourage any political criticism of its actions. Therefore,
we express solidarity with the arrested, demand that the meaningless
charges against them be raised and seek their release."

Calling from a special antiterrorist unit base in Batajnica,
Interior Minister Ivica Da?i? said this is protest as purposeless and
said that the police has evidence, but that the police is ready to
admit that a mistake has been made if it is proven otherwise. For 11th
September, a group of Belgrade University professors and public figures
concerned with the announcement that against the six suspects for
Molotov cocktail attack on the embassy of Greece in Serbia to be
indicted that are they charged for an act of international terrorism,
sent an open letter to the public. This group also said burning example
of the U.S. Embassy during a protest after the declaration of
independence, 21 February 2008, where the work with much greater
consequences than seen much milder case of the Embassy of Greece where
the effects were insignificant. The group alleges that the U.S. Embassy
in Serbia was burned and that is substantially damaged by fire, while
one of the attackers lost his life.

"The only participant in this
attack which is found on the accused bench was charged with serious
offenses against the enforcement of general safety. In contrast, the
authorities breaking a window at the empty building of the Embassy of
Greece, with two lighted bottles that have not led to a fire
characterized as an act of international terrorism, as the work of the
Serbian Criminal Code is in the list of the most serious crimes such as
genocide, war crimes and conducting an aggressive war."

The signatories pointed that hey’re afraid that the paradoxical
positioning of different law enforcement bodies under the two cases of
politically conditioned parts of the current government efforts to
improve the rating of the nationalist oriented part of the electorate.
"It has a stimulating effect on the strengthening of the right
extremist and chauvinist tendencies in our society, such as those that
largely without major legal consequences, in early 2008 participated in
the aforementioned burning of embassies in Belgrade" The international
reaction to the arrest and accusing the Belgrade anarchists of
International terrorism were more intense and frequent.

List of international solidarity actions in chronological order:

07.09 Poland, Warsaw - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
07.09 Slovakia, Bratislava - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
08.09Portugal, Lisbon - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
09.09Hrvatska, Zadar - Collecting donations on the street
09.09 Austria, Vienna - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
10:09 Slovenia, Ljubljana – graffiti sprayin the Embassy Serbia
11:09 Australia, Melbourne - a letter of protest Serbian Consulate
11:09 Austria Vienna - the second protest of solidarity
11:09 UK, London - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
14:09 Croatia, Zagreb - Protest of solidarity, protest letter to embassy
15:09 Russia, Moscow - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
15:09 Ukraine, Kiev - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
16:09 Greece, Athens / Thessaloniki - Protest in front of the embassy / consulate
18:09 Netherlands, Hague - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
18:09 Bulgaria, Sofia - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
18:09 Germany, Berlin - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
19:09 Greece, Komotini - solidarity protest at the central square
25.09 Macedonia, Skopje - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
25/09 Germany, Frankfurt - Protest in front of the Consulate
28.09 United Kingdom, London - second protest
29/09 Hungary, Budapest - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia
01.10 Switzerland, Bern
02.10 and 03.10 of Spain, Madrid - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia and
protest in the town square
04.10 Russia, St Petersburg - Protest downtown
08.10 Italy, Trieste – graffiti spraying Serbian Consulate
17:10 France, Paris - protest on the square Bobur, occupation of the Serbian Cultural Center
19:10 Germany, Frankfurt - protest at Book Fair
22:10 Turkey, Ankara - Protest in front of the Embassy of Serbia

The desire of government to criminalize ASI as an organization and
prohibit it at the end, became apparent when, on September 15th, during
a wave of creating atmosphere of fear, in some media an obviously false
news appeared, how Anarcho-syndicalist Initiative will use "pride
parade" to attack the police in the streets of Belgrade and avenge the
arrested comrades.

Events that followed, the Serbian government will use to open the introduction of state repression.

Since the "Pride parade" was scheduled for September the 20th,
tensions in the Serbian public scene grew since the spring, but have
reached the culmination on18th of September evening, when a French
citizen Brice Taton was brutally beate. He was kept in hospital for
treatment, in critical condition, and the same night was, due to
severity of his injuries, subjected to a series of surgical procedures.
State Public Prosecutor's Office, "shocked" by violence, has condemned
attacks on French tourists and announced that he will seek the
strictest prison punishment. The "Pride parade" the following day, 19th
of September, however, is prohibited with the explanation that the
police and security services are unable to guarantee the safety of
parade participants, and officials have stated that the State
capitulated before the violence and profascist groups. The same day,
police banned the holding of meetings in downtown Belgrade, under the
pretext that it could lead to violent acts. Farce directed by the
state, called the struggle against violence, was continued by the
arrests of members of nationalist organizations "1389" and members of
the clericalfascist organization "Obraz", due to the occurrence of
unauthorized gathering. Interior Minister Ivica Da?i? said that "the
state will decisively deal with everyone who is threatening with
violence and that public meetings cannot be held in downtown Belgrade,
where there is a threat of endangering life and property. The police
will, as much as it is in its power, prevent all kinds of attacks, and
will be repressive to extremist groups that threaten the various
parties, organizations and movements. " Officials of the police are
once again emphasized that "and in the future" in the center of
Belgrade, for security reasons will not be allowed holding of public
meetings. "Police has on the 20th of September arrested 37 activists of
rightwing organizations for violating ban on gatherings in public
places, and four of them were detained in prison for up to 30 days.
Ministry of Justice on 22nd of September launched an initiative to ban
any organization whose members propagate violence and carry out
criminal acts. And then President of Serbia Boris Tadi? announces that
"all extremists, left or right, will be prosecuted before our courts."
In Article 55 Serbian the Constitution states that the Constitutional
Court may prohibit the association which is aimed at violent overthrow
of constitutional order, violation of guaranteed human or minority
rights, inciting racial, national or religious hatred.

Indictment for international terrorism

Investigation ended after two months, on 3rd of November, prosecutor
and the Belgrade District Court and the Trial Chamber by a unanimous
decision filed for international terrorism against six anarchists from
Belgrade, and extended their detention for another month on Article 42
paragraph 1 point 3 CPC (when punishable penalty for a crime is more
than 10 years, the accused has no right to defend himself with
freedom), while the indictment says that there is fear that the offense
will be repeated because the defendants are members, and supporters of


More articles here http://libcom.org/tags/belgrade-6