Interior Ministry shuts down military camp for children
Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic says a camp on Mt. Zlatibor, where children were learning military skills, has been closed.Source: B92, Beta, Prva TV
44 children who were there - aged from 12 to 23 - have been sent home.
"We have given an order to dissolve the camp because of the possibility of child abuse, and disturbing the public," Stefanovic said.
The first "youth-patriotic" children's camp, organized by "Serbian and Russian veterans and patriotic groups" had been opened on Mt. Zlatibor.
Instead of summer vacations, the participants chose to learn military skills - dressed in military uniforms and with weapons in hand.
However, organizers, war veterans, pointed out that children were learning survival skills, and that they were not handling real weapons.
Organizers also claim that everything had been done in accordance with the law and that the camp was registered as a public event. A permit, but also the financial support, had been obtained from the municipality of Cajetina, whose mayor saw nothing contentious about the camp.
"This is a humanitarian patriotic camp where children learn traditional Serbian values, where they don't get paid, like those participating in reality TV. They are doing this because they want to protect themselves, make themselves ready for life," said Mayor Milan Stamatovic.
The camp on Mt. Zlatibor was modeled after those organized in Russia, while camps of this kind also exist in other countries.