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Macedonia Albanians Protest Against Police: Live Blog

May 11, 2012

Balkan Insight brings you live updates on the protests of ethnic Albanians in Skopje and several towns in Macedonia.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic and BIRN team, Balkan Insight, 11.05.2012

 

This live update is now completed. Thank you for following our live blog. For more info on this story please see Macedonia Protests Pass Off Without Bloodshed

17:15 According to the police, several policemen have been injured, three seriously.

16:30 Cameraman from Telma TV and one policemen have been injured when the protesters threw stones at the party headquarters of the Democratic Union for Integration in Cair.

16:20 Protesters threw stones at the party headquarters of the Democratic Union for Integration in Cair, an ethnic Albanian neighbourhood in Skopje. According to reports, the protesters attempetd to move towards the municipality building but were prevented by police.

15:35 According to Kanal 5 TV the Islamic Religious Community, IVZ, has been calling on believers at its mosques not to go out on protests.

Jaja Pasha Mosque where the Skopje protest begun | Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

15:30 One cameraman, from Sitel TV, and one photographer have been attacked in front of the government before the protests ended.

Broken bus stand in front of the government building | Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic


15:08 The protesters in Skopje again passed by the court, without any incidents and moved towards Jaja Pasha mosque, where the protest initially started.

15:07 In Tetovo about 700 people gathered in the main town square, passed by the court and are now at the party headquarters of the Democratic Union for Integration in Mala Recica. The protesters shouted “We are not murderers” and “DUI murderers”.

14:52 Several hundred people have gathered in Gostivar and are moving from the mosque and the court towards the police station. 

14:48 Protesters move from the government building in Skopje back across the river. As they were leaving there was a minor incidents as one group started to demolish a bus station but were stopped by other protesters.

Riot police in front of the government building
Riot police in front of the government building in Skopje, Photo by Sinisa Jakov Marusic

14:40 The protest in Kumanovo is over. Several hundred people gathered briefly in front of the local court in Kumanovo. Some of the protesters from Kumanovo went to Skopje to join the protest in the capital.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

14:35 Numerous police units deployed on different locations in Skopje. Riot police forces at the protest scene, in the front and around the governement building.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

 

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

14:30 Protesters throw stones and break some windows of the governement building.

 Photo by Darko Duridanski

14:25 Protesters in front of the government building shouting “Murderers”. As some are trying to break through the fence in front of the building others, also from the crowd, are trying to calm down the situatio.

 Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

 

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

14:15 A river of people that now numbers around ten thousand people is moving towards the government building shouting “Allah is Great”, “Gruevski(Macedonia’s PM) is a terrorist!” and “UCK” (Albanian guerrilla army that fought in Kosovo and Macedonia)

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic


14:05 Protesters move from Skopje court, where they threw stones and metal bars, towards the government building. There are numerous police forces at the scene. No incidents have been reported so far.

Protesters gather at Skopje green market Bitpazar
Protesters gather at Skopje green market Bit-pazar in the Albanian quarter | Photo By: Sinisa Jakov Marusic, (c) BIRN

13:55 Rexhepi Skender, one of the organisers of the protest told Balkan Insight that the protesters are “ordinary people who have no other way to express their revolt then through peaceful protests.”

“We just want to express our revolt about the way the arrested people were treated and how the detained women were treated.

13:50 More and more people are joining the protesters in Skopje, now near Bitpazar market.

13:45 In Gostivar it is quiet so far. About hundred people have gathered near the town mosque and are supposed to soon move towards the town square.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

13:40 Flyers distributed at the scene say: “We share the pain of the members of the victims families and we demand the killers are brought to justice. We protest against the insults of the government against all of its Muslim citizens and its attempt to stage a political process. We are appalled by the Albanian partner in the government (the Democratic Union for Integration) that is legitimizing the insults of this government against its own people.” There is no author or organisation listed on the flyers.

Photo by: Balkan Insight

13:30 “Muslims are not terrorists” a crowd of about a thousand people is shouting as the protests in Skopje start. The main streets around the mosque have been closed for traffic.

13:10 Several hundred people are in and around Jaja Pasha mosque in skopje attending midday prayer. Police in riot gear are present at the scene. The protests are expected to start at 13:30.

Albanians protests against police arrests in Skopje
The crowd of demostrators is growing in Skopje. There have been no clashes with riot police as of yet | Photo By: Sinisa Jakov Marusic, BIRN

Macedonian police are on alert in the capital, Skopje, in Tetovo, Gostivar, Debar, Struga and other towns where ethnic Albanian activists, using Facebook and Twitter, have announced street protests after Friday’s midday prayers.

The rallies are directed against police arrests of so-called radical Islamists, wanted in connection to last month’s murders of five people near Skopje.

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