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Statement Regarding the Recent Protests
July 9, 2020

We followed closely the events of the last two evenings in Belgrade and other cities of Serbia and we are deeply concerned by incidents of violence.

We condemn all violence, including what appeared to us to be coordinated attacks on police seemingly intended to provoke overreactions as well what appeared to be the use of excessive force by police.

Nevertheless, the right to peaceful assembly and free expression are the foundations of a democracy.  America is a nation undergoing its own challenges with protests and civil unrest right now.

The concerns and debate at the heart of this matter in Serbia and elsewhere in the world – how a nation keeps its people safe in the face of the deadliest pandemic of our time — are serious and must be part of a calm and peaceful national discussion.

A free media environment and reforms in the area of rule of law are important for encouraging this kind of dialogue in Serbia.