Informer’s photo manipulation: The image of the empty plateau in front of the National Assembly as “proof” that the protest failed


Original article (in Serbian) was published on 09/05/2023

Two mass murders during the last week in Serbia were the reason for thousands of citizens to gather yesterday at the “Serbia against violence” protest. However, Informer’s readers could not see photos of a large number of people on the streets of Belgrade. This pro-regime tabloid published a video of an almost empty plateau in front of the National Assembly, implying that the turnout was small and that the protest failed. The truth, however, is different – at the moment when the Informer announced it, the mass of people was already in front of the Government’s building.

“Their protest was so successful that the traffic in front of the Assembly is functioning normally!”, this is the title of the text published on the web portal of Informer, which, as it says on the website, was published at 19:14.

“Less than an hour after the start of the pompously announced protest by the opposition, the plateau in front of the National Assembly is completely empty”, this tabloid states and the same news was soon published by the web portal Alo.

As proof that the protest “failed”, Informer published a camera shot of Nikola Pasic Square. It shows a part of the street in front of the parliament which was really almost empty at that moment – you can see a few cars in motion as well as a small number of people on the sidewalks.

Photo: Printscreen

However, this was a manipulation – a crowd in which there were thousands of people, and which Informer’s readers did not see, was at that moment not far from there – in Knez Milos Street, near the Serbian Government’s building. People gathered in front of the National Assembly starting at 6 p.m., from where they slowly headed towards the Government after about half an hour, where they started arriving around 7 p.m.

Photo: KRIK (citizens gathered along Kneza Milosa Street at 7:15 p.m.)

There was a significant mass of people and this could be seen in numerous posts on social networks.

N1 also published drone footage showing the column along Knez Milos.

The protest called “Serbia against violence” was organized, apart from Belgrade, in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Cacak and Pozega, which was reported by Insajder. The reasons for the protest are two mass murders that took place last week in which 17 people were killed.

Citizens were invited to the protest by a part of the opposition parties, and some of the demands were the removal of the REM Council, the shutdown of tabloids that publish fake news and violate the Code of Journalists of Serbia, the confiscation of national frequencies from Pink and Happy. The dismissal of the Minister of Police, Bratislav Gasic, and the head of the BIA, Aleksandar Vulin, was also demanded, and the deadline for meeting the protest’s demands is May 12.
There were several thousand people at the rally, but there are no precise and reliable estimates – the numbers differ depending on which side presents them. For instance, Aleksandar Vucic said during his last night’s guest appearance in the show called Cirilica on TV Happy that there were not even 6,000 people in front of the Assembly, and during the walk a maximum of around 9,000 people, while the newspaper Danas states that there were between 50,000 and 100,000 citizens gathered “according to the estimates of reporters from earlier similar mass gatherings”.

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