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Serbia: Skinheads try to abduct fair-skinned child from Romani family

Novi Sad, Serbia, 23.10.2013 17:50, (ROMEA)
Stefan Nikolic, his wife Jovanka, and their son. (PHOTO:  http://www.blic.rs)
Stefan Nikolic, his wife Jovanka, and their son. (PHOTO: http://www.blic.rs)

On 22 October news server Blic.rs reported that a group of men described as skinheads almost succeeded in abducting a two-year-old child last Saturday evening from in front of his home on Šafarikova Street in Novi Sad just because the child's skin was fairer than that of his father, Stefan Nikolić. The men accused Nikolić, who is of Romani nationality, of having stolen the child from its biological parents.

Nikolić told  Blic.rs that when he threatened to call the police, the hooligans ran away. Nikolić said he and his wife Jovanka had been out walking, with the son in his father's arms, when a man who looked about 25 years old started shouting "How did you get that white child, you must have stolen it!" at them.

"I was so frightened I didn't know what to do, he was pointing at my two-year-old son Čeda," Nikolić said. "My wife begged him to leave us alone. All of this was being watched by his friends across the street, who were standing out in front of the pub where they had been drinking. They all yelled that we had stolen the child and should be put in prison. All of them were between about 20 and 30 years old."

Nikolić said he began explaining to the skinheads that his wife is lighter-skinned than he is. The discussion affected the child, who started crying, while his mother helplessly watched what was happening.

"When I refused to hand over my son, he offered me EUR 100 for him. I couldn't believe what he was saying. I said I would call the police," Nikolić said.

Blic.rs reports that the family's torment was far from over. A man pretending to be a police officer then reportedly approached the family.

"This other man came over to us, said he worked for the police, and said he would deal with my child. I asked him to go with us to the nearest police station and he refused. I called the police on my mobile phone and the hooligans ran away across the parking lot in the direction of the city center," Nikolić said. 

The victimized father said the men who accosted him had short haircuts and wore black jackets featuring stickers in the shape of skulls. He said they are often seen to gather at that particular pub. 

Nikolić also alleged the skinheads have been seen painting swastikas on nearby buildings. "I haven't fallen asleep since Saturday evening and my husband has stayed home from work because we are afraid someone will come back to abduct our child," Jovanka Nikolić told news server Blic.rs. "Stefan used to work at the wholesale market, he would go to work at 3 AM, but now he is afraid to leave us on our own at home. Who knows what might happen to us?"

News server Blic.rs reported yesterday that police have been unable to apprehend anyone fitting Stefan's description of the would-be abductors.

Gwendolyn Albert, Slađana Aničić, Blic.rs, translated by Selma Muhic
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Tags:  

skinheads, Srbsko, Roma



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