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French Intellectual Questions Serbian Democracy After Pie Attack

Bernard-Henry Levy in Belgrade on May 11

French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy said on May 11 after left-wing activists threw a pie in his face in Serbia that the incident illustrates the Balkan country is far from having democracy.

Levy, a philosopher known for his criticism of Serbian nationalist policies during the 1990s Balkan wars, was in Belgrade for the showing of his documentary film about the Kurds fighting the Islamic State extremist group.

A young man chanting "Murderer, leave Belgrade!" threw a pie at his face while he was presenting his film, called Peshmerga, on May 10.

Another man climbed the stage with a banner bearing a communist hammer and sickle that read, "Bernard Levy advocates imperialist murders."

Levy reacted by shouting "Long live democracy!" in French. He later said that "this incident illustrates what democrats face" in Serbia.

Serbian nationalists see Levy as one of the main advocates of the NATO bombing in 1999 over the country's crackdown against Kosovar Albanian separatists.

"He deserved much worse than a cake in his face," Serbian ultranationalist official Vojislav Seselj said in parliament on May 11.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP