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Yugoslavia: Serbian Police Clash With Protesters

Belgrade, 19 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Serbian police used tear gas and batons to break up another demonstration in Belgrade against the government's seizure of a major opposition-controlled television station. No clear figures were available, but reports said protesters and police had been injured in last night's violence. Protests also took place in other cities, including Novi Sad and Kragujevac. It was the second consecutive night of rallies against Wednesday's seizure of Studio B, considered the main opposition television outlet in Serbia. The seizure was the harshest step yet in what opponents call a worsening crackdown on non-government media by the regime of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

The Russian Foreign Ministry added its voice to western concerns over the crackdown, saying a free press was an essential component of democracy.