A sizable crowd gathered in the center of Skopje tonight to protest the death of a young man who was allegedly beaten to death on the sidelines of the celebration of election victory by the ruling political party.
The event coincided with Baskerfest, an annual street performance art festival held in the center of Skopje.
Vnukot provided a translation of this report [mk] by Radio MOF:
According to reports by NetPress, A1, PlusInfo, MakFax and Forum, sometime around midnight last night, June 6th, 2011, a young man [called Daniel] in his early twenties died near the square “Macedonia” in downtown Skopje. Witnesses who spoke to NetPress and A1, say that the young man was beaten to death by a member of the police special forces “Alpha”.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that such case hasn’t been reported yet and they would investigate further if such report is made. The Skopje branch of the Police said that the autopsy will determine the cause of death, but there were no visible signs of violence on the body of the young man.
The mainstream media ignores the case so far (with the exception of A1), but the news spread quickly via Facebook and Twitter (hash tags #daniel, #fontana, #park) and people are gathering in the City Park for a protest, after the call published by PlusInfo.
Sandra posted a photo of “more than 200 people [who] gathered in protest for the murder of 23yo #daniel.”
Twitter user @365Eclectic posted a number of photos from the protest and walk from the park near the Government building to the central square:
Other Twitter and Facebook users circulated a handwritten petition [mk] asking to disband the Alpha police squad, personal and command responsibility for the perpetrators of the crime, and external control of the police abuse cases:
Later photos from the square by @Arangel shows the crowd carrying signs saying “Love Daniel” and “Alpha Killers,” and a sit-in on one of the main city streets near the square:
User @malaovca has published a photo of sit-in protesters blocking the street near the main square:
Details of the incident remain unclear, including the identity of the victim. Global Voices’ correspondents on the ground will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.