Serbia opposition supporters storm state-run TV

Thousands rally outside President Aleksandar Vucic’s residence

Opponents of Serb President Aleksandar Vucic broke into the state-run RTS television building on Saturday, demanding to address the population, in images aired live. Among the dozens who invaded RTS on Saturday were opposition figures including former Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas and Bosko Obradovic, leader of the right-wing Dveri party.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic denounced the action in a statement run on RTS. Private TV channel N1 showed images of police starting to remove the protestors from the RTS premises. There have been weekly opposition protests since December against what they describe as Vucic's slide towards autocratic rule, while accusing RTS of pandering to the ruling party and demanding more airtime for opposing views.

On Sunday, thousands of anti-government protesters staged a rally outside President Aleksandar Vucic’s residence to press their demands for greater media freedom and free and fair elections, a day after they briefly broke into the state television building. The protesters, who have been staging such rallies every weekend for more than three months, blew whistles and shouted “resign!” as Vucic gave a news conference inside the building.

“We shall continue the blockade of the presidency and we will not leave until our demands are met or unless we get firm guarantees that our demands will be met,” Borko Stefanovic, an opposition activist, told reporters. “There are no independent media here in this country,” said Srdjan Vuksa, a businessman from the town of Kovin near Belgrade.

The protests have spread to other cities and towns, though numbers outside Belgrade have remained small.

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