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Serbia police arrest 56 neo-Nazis at Kosovo protest

[JURIST] Serbian police arrested 56 neo-Nazis for protesting the potential independence of Kosovo from Serbia [JURIST news archives] despite a ban against their planned demonstration, Serbian police said Monday. The arrests were made after fighting broke out Sunday between the neo-Nazis protesters and a group of anti-fascists, who were holding a counter-protest. The anti-fascist organizers accused Serbian police of failing to protect the demonstrators and demanded an explanation Monday for why the neo-Nazis were even allowed to gather to form their protest. Liberal Party leader Cedomir Jovanovic called for the resignation of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, saying it was the government's duty to demonstrate to neo-Nazis that the government will not tolerate Nazism. The government banned the neo-Nazi demonstration [BIRN report] last month after the Simon Wiesenthal Center [museum website] alleged the planned march was actually to celebrate the birthday of SS chief Heinrich Himler. AP has more.

The Neo-Nazi movement has been making headlines worldwide in recent months. In September, Israeli police arrested a gang of neo-Nazis [JURIST report] accused of attacking foreigners, homosexuals and Jewish people. In August, writer Gerd Honsik was arrested by Spanish police [JURIST report] for allegedly writing books denying the Holocaust; Honsik had already been convicted of neo-Nazi activities in his native Austria in 1992. Last year, the German Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution issued a report showing an increase in neo-Nazi violence [JURIST report], with nearly three attacks related to right-wing extremism occurring daily in Germany.

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