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Serbia Prosecution Seeks Ban on Far-Right ‘Leviathan’ Movement

Serbia’s Public Prosecutor’s Office has reportedly requested a ban on the ‘Leviathan’ movement, which is known for using animal rights issues to promote a far-right agenda – and is accused of violent behaviour.

Serbia’s Public Prosecutor’s Office has called for a ban on the far-right Levijatan [Leviathan] movement, a group known for using animal rights issues to target minorities, N1 TV reported.

BIRN asked the Prosecutors Office to comment on the call but received no reply by the time of publication.

Levijatan was founded in 2015 and takes its name from English writer Thomas Hobbes’ landmark work of political philosophy.

Experts describe it as the latest offshoot of a Europe-wide phenomenon that has appropriated the fight for animal rights to service a far-right agenda. They are known for violence and hate speech toward minorities, especially Roma people.

Levijatan leader Pavle Bihali has been accused of neo-Nazism since he sports a tattoo identical to the SS skull and crossbones motif. The group also uses Celtic crosses, a popular neo-Nazi symbol.

Bihali denies the claims. His great-grandfather, also named Pavle Bihali, was a communist and famous Yugoslav writer and publicist of Jewish origin. He was shot by the occupying Nazis in Belgrade in 1941.

Levijatan used alleged threats to animal rights to gain attention and influence public policy. At its prime, it had more than 220,000 followers on Facebook.

In the parliamentary elections in 2020 the group won only 22,600 votes. In 2022, they were on the ballot as part of the Ruski manjinski savez (Russian minority alliance), and won only 9,569 votes.

Serbia’s Prosecutor’s Office last year started investigating how the party spent the money it received from the state for elections. The Agency for the Fight against Corruption suggested that Bihali transferred the money for financing the election to his personal account, and then withdrew it without any grounds.

Source : BalkanInsight