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Serbia: Belgrade Protests Continue

Belgrade, 22 January 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Thousands of Serbian students continued their round-the-clock protest in Belgrade for a fourth day today as the standoff between the government of President Slobodan Milosevic and the opposition over recognition of local election results entered its 66th day.

The students, who have camped out in front of a police barricade in the center of Belgrade since Sunday, say they will not move until police let them demonstrate freely around the city.

The Milosevic government continues to refuse to recognize local election victories claimed by the opposition in 14 cities, including Belgrade, last November. The situation has become increasingly confused in recent days, with a series of contradictory decisions by various courts and electoral bodies on the issue.

U.S. State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns yesterday accused Serbian authorities of creating "judicial knots" to deny opposition election victories in the November polls. Burns said this is taking place in a Serbian justice system that "cannot be considered democratic by any means."