The U.S. news agency, Associated Press, reported that Serbian police yesterday arrested a well-known doctor and other anti-vaccination activists, accused of jeopardizing the country’s ongoing vaccination campaign.
“Serbian state TV said psychiatrist Jovana Stojkovic, a leading figure in the country’s anti-vaccination movement, was taken to a police station in Belgrade on accusations that she has been spreading “fear and panic” with her social media posts and public appearances.
Stojkovic, who leads a small far-right party, has frequently voiced anti-vaccination conspiracy theories,” AP writes and adds:
“At least five other people, including a former Serbian women’s basketball player, were reportedly questioned by police on Thursday in an apparent crackdown against Serbia’s growing anti-vaccination movement.
Serbian Justice Minister Maja Popovic said the Interior Ministry and state prosecutors were acting according to the law.
“All the perpetrators of criminal acts must be processed, especially when they threaten public health,” the statement said.
Dozens of supporters greeted Stojkovic as she was released by police in the afternoon, carrying a banner reading “Stop the COVID fascism.”
Associated Press goes on to say Stojkovic said she was arraigned because she shared articles about the vaccines, adding that her added comments were “based on scientific research and what doctors are saying.”
The news agency also says that thousands of vaccine-seekers from countries neighbouring Serbia last month flocked to Belgrade after authorities offered foreigners free jabs for all those who showed up. They all received AstraZeneca vaccine that faced expiration because of the lack of interest for that vaccine in Serbia.
Serbia has seen over 5,300 deaths in the pandemic.
(Novi Magazin, 01.04.2021)
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