Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD

Milosevic supporters take to streets

Protesters demanded Milosevic not be handed to The Hague  

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Several hundred hardline Serb nationalists have protested outside Belgrade's main jail in support of Slobodan Milosevic.

Chanting "Slobo, Slobo" and "To arrest Slobo is to arrest all Serbs" they demanded that the government not hand the former Yugoslav president to the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

Arrested in Yugoslavia on suspicion of corruption and abuse of power, the international community are demanding that Milosevic be handed to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity.

Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has ruled this out handing but other reformist coalition leaders are more disposed to pleasing the West to avoid jeopardising crucial aid money.

The first demonstration in support of Milosevic since his arrest on Sunday mainly consisted of overwhelmingly middle-aged and elderly citizens.

It was a far cry from the multitudes of faithful the ousted president could muster at the height of his power.

Most Serbs have welcomed Milosevic's arrest and quickly returned to daily routine with and only four bored looking policemen watching the rally.

But speakers at Wednesday's rally demanded that democratic reformers, who took power after October's popular uprising, stand firm against Western pressure to hand him to the U.N. tribunal, which wants him to stand trial for atrocities in Kosovo.

Milosevic is unlikely to have heard them as his nine by 12 foot cell has no windows.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Arrest warrant issued for Milosevic
April 4, 2001
West pushes for Milosevic handover
April 4, 2001
Milosevic admits funding conflicts
April 3, 2001
Powell to tour Balkans
April 4, 2001

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


4:30pm ET, 4/16

Back to the top