Ratko Mladic Tributes Spark Continuing Discord in Serbia

Unknown perpetrators on Thursday removed a banner with the slogan "Ratko Mladic is a war criminal convicted of genocide" from the building in the Serbian city of Novi Sad which houses the offices of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina, LSV political party.

LSV spokesperson Aleksandar Marton said that early in the morning, a group of male right-wing extremists gathered at the building and threw eggs at the banner.

"During the day, around 1pm, they climbed up on the next building and from a terrace, from an area where the banner could be removed, they managed to pull it off and throw it on the ground," Marton told BIRN.

The large banner had been hung on the LSV building amid continuing tensions over murals glorifying Ratko Mladic in the capital Belgrade and other Serbian cities.

Human rights activists have tried to deface or remove the tributes to the Bosnian Serb war criminal, while nationalists have tried to protect them or clean them after they have been painted over.

Marton explained that the LSV put up the banner "because of all of the things that have been happening in Serbia in the last few weeks and the last few years".

"There's a very strong policy of denying crimes and, more importantly, denying court rulings," he said.

Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment by the UN tribunal in The Hague for genocide and other wartime crimes. But Serbian and Bosnian Serb officials do not accept that the 1995 massacres of Bosniaks from Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb forces constituted genocide.

"We see what is happening in Belgrade, that people who want Serbia to respect those verdicts, to call things by their real names, those people are attacked and are targeted, so our banner was a strong message," Martin...

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