Belgrade, 10/12/2021- The activists and sympathizers of the so-called ‘People’s Patrol’ organized in Sombor a protest against migrants during the weekend. On their social networks and around the city, they taped the photos and names of people they called ‘profiteers’, who make money by renting accommodation to illegal migrants. In the comments on social networks, they openly called for the lynching of those people, who are now worried about their safety, and Ministry of Internal Affairs also reacted.
In the previous days, posters appeared in Sombor depicting people with their full names and surnames, and next to them there was the writing: ‘The people of Sombor, these are your neighbors who illegally rent accommodation to migrants. Because of their own earnings, they participate in the aggregation of the very same people in your city’.
The same content was published on the Facebook profile of the People’s Patrol, along with various derogatory comments and calls for lynching. The people on the posters were called ‘greedy traitors’, ‘profiteers’, ‘spiritual freaks’, along with numerous cursings.
The People’s Patrol is an informal ultra-right organization, and in the description of their profile the message is: ‘Stop the settlement of migrants’. They upload videos that call for violence against migrants.
This summer, the attention was also drawn to the case when they published a post on Facebook claiming to have information that migrants strangled a woman in Sombor. This was reported by right-wing portals and some tabloids, which caused a great deal of anti-immigrant comments. However, it turned out to be fake news.
Đurović does not expect a reaction from the authorities
The executive director of Asylum Protection Center, Radoš Đurović, told Euronews Serbia that members of the ‘People’s Patrol’ had previously taken law and order into their own hands in other places. He says that the reaction of the prosecutor’s office and the police was missing then and he thinks it will be the same case now.
Đurović states there is a serious problem in Sombor, as well as in other border areas, where the citizens are dissatisfied, and certain interest groups spread fear and prejudices and make profit from that dissatisfaction.
‘This problem that is now appearing in the form of protests by the People’s Patrols has a history that lasts for a long time’, he said, adding that there are many migrants without accommodation.
He adds it is said in the public that there are no problems, but the citizens see the problems on the local level.