The scene of Ivanovic’s murder a year later

Jednogodišnji pomen

Today marks one year since GI SDP leader Oliver Ivanovic was killed with six shots in the back in front of his party offices. As in all previous months, even today, family members, friends, and colleagues gathered at the place where Ivanovic was killed, while the annual memorial service was also held today.

Today’s memorial service in North Mitrovica was attended by Slobodan Petrovic, Dragisa Milovic, Aleksandar Jablanovic, Momcilo Trajkovic, abbots from the monastery Sokolica, Makarija, Serbian minister and Ivanovic’s personal friend, Rasim Ljajic, university professors, and representatives of civil society. Although announced, international diplomats have canceled their arrival.

Next to a number of journalists, including those from the Kosovo media, as well as political and church representatives, civil representatives and other intellectuals who attended the service, the absence of municipal officials, that is, Srpska Lista, which led a negative campaign against the murdered Serbian politician, was even more noticeable.

The fact that even a year after the murder the perpetrators and instigators remain unknown was the main message of the rally in North Mitrovica.

„Besides political speeches, political bickering from Belgrade, and Pristina, with mediation, I can freely say, and the surveillance of the international community we do not have a killer today, unfortunately, we are all mute,“ said Ivanovic’s closest party associate and the president of GI SDP – Ksenija Bozovic.

Sahrana Olivera Ivanovića FOTO: Đorđe Savić EPA ETE
Ivanovic’s funeral, Foto: Đorđe Savić EPA ETE

She said that since the first day of the „unprofessional investigation“, a year has passed and there is still no evidence connected to the killer. At the same time, she expressed disappointment with the representatives of the international community who canceled their arrival.

„We wanted them to be with us today just out of one reason, and that is to send a clear message from this place that the Kosovo institutions and those responsible for finding the killer of Oliver Ivanovic failed the exam since day one,“ Bozovic explained.

A great number of people gathered also on Saturday at an annual service held at the New Cemetery in Belgrade Saturday, attended by the Ivanovic family, with the exception of the youngest, fifth child of Oliver Ivanovic and his mother – Milena Popovic.

„Oliver believed in democracy and justice,“ she said and asked:

„Is it justice that he spent three and a half years in prison and he was innocent? Is democracy being killed with six bullets in the back in front of his party rooms just because he thought differently, is it democracy?“

Jednogodišnji pomen Oliver Ivanović

At the same time, in Belgrade, in front of the Temple of St. Sava, Milena Popovic organized a commemoration as, she announced, „in silence and peace“ which is the „only right way“ and in the company of the highest Serbian officials (Aleksandar Vucic, Ana Brnabic, Aleksandar Vulin, Marko Djuric) and her eight-year-old son who all lit candles in honour of Ivanovic.

In a few hours, thousands of Serbian citizens are expected to go out on a protest walk in Belgrade because of the “violence that is present in Serbia” but also because, even a year later, there is no answer to the question „Who killed Oliver Ivanovic?” Today’s march is organized under the slogan under which Ivanovic led his election campaign, fighting, as he often said, against injustice and fear – „There is more of us.“ The Ivanovic family confirmed their attendance. Milena Popovic, on the other hand, stressed that she will not attend the protest because it is „politicization“ of the death and influence of her partner.

Two days before the anniversary of Ivanovic’s assassination, in the Boulevard of the Despot Stefan in Belgrade, a mural of Oliver Ivanovic was painted by an unknown author with the words: „One does not live in an atmosphere of fear“.

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