Protests escalate in Skopje, clashes between police and protesters

Protests escalate in Skopje, clashes between police and protesters

Skopje, 6 May 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Violence and clashes between police and protesters were seen last night in front of the government building in Skopje.

The protest started as a quiet one around 6.30 pm, a few hours after the leader of opposition published recorded materials of the head of the government relating to the concealment and manipulation of the murder of a young Macedonian man 4 years ago by a member of special forces and member of security personnel of PM Nikola Gruevski.

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Protesters have called for PM Nikola Gruevski’s government to resign. A part of them have thrown stones and eggs toward the government building.

But, several hours later the situation became even tenser, as the number of protesters was growing. The situation became violent when protesters attempted to enter the government building. Special units have managed to disperse the crowd of protesters.

Around midnight, all protesters had dispersed, but groups of young people have continued to protest in the streets of the center of the capital.

Police managed to arrest tens of protesters, while there are reports for a significant number of wounded among protesters, but police too.

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Ministry of Interior said that 11 police officers remained wounded, after being hit with strong objects, such as bottles and iron bars. On the other hand, tens of wounded protesters have also been reported.

Late last night, Macedonian opposition leader, Zoran Zaev appealed through social networks for people to remain calm and protest with dignity, in order not to allow the situation to get out of control.

“As a man and politician, I call on those who protest in front of the government to express their discontent in a calm and decent way. Do not let your discontent to get out of control. I also appeal for authorities to do their job and also defend those who protest”, Zaev said.

Minister of Interior, Gordana Jankulovska delivered a press conference last night, saying that the opposition is playing with the feelings of the citizens through fake audio registrations.

“SDSM leader has once again played with the feelings of the citizens in the most brutal way by abusing with the tragic death of a young man. Zaev is doing this for political gains and he’s prepared to do everything”, said Jankulovska, rejecting the demand for resignation.

The protests have been shown in different versions by pro government media and the opposition media. While pro government media called these protests as scenarios of the opposition to cause unrest in the country, some opposition portals have said that the citizens are raising their voice against this government that they call totalitarian. /ibna/