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Yugoslavia: Government Threatens Opposition Activists

Belgrade, 15 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Yugoslav government has threatened legal action against any members of the Otpor student organization or the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement who attend a rally in Belgrade today. Yugoslav Information Minister Goran Matic says police will prevent what he called "actions against the state." He said the time of opposition street marches in Yugoslavia is over. Matic's remarks follow the killing on Saturday of Bosko Perosevic -- the head of Vojvodina's provincial government and an ally of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Police in Novi Sad declared that a man arrested for the killing is a member of both Otpor and the Serbian Renewal Movement. But Vuk Draskovic, the chief of both groups, denies the claim.

Today's rally in Belgrade follows police intervention last week that prevented opposition activists from demonstrating in Milosevic's hometown of Pozarevic. Opposition parties and Otpor have formed a joint "crisis committee" to combat arrests and harassment by Yugoslav authorities.