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By Igor Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade — 18/08/14
A religion-based youth camp in a mountainous region of Serbia has drawn the attention of police and politicians after videos emerged that showed youngsters handling knives and replica Kalashnikovs.
The camp is operated by the so-called Serbian True Orthodox Church, whose members consider themselves the guardians of orthodoxy and have left the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The 10-day camp has children, some younger than 10 years old, living in tents and learning survival skills under the supervision of instructors.
“Police will investigate the whole case and whether there was any abuse of children,” Serbian Police Director Milorad Veljovic told SETimes.
But there was no doubt for some politicians. Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic said that the violation of the rights of the youngest were obvious.
“It is unacceptable that children are abused in this way, and I expect an urgent response by the relevant authorities,” said Gojkovic, who is also the president of the Parliamentary Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Aleksandar Vulin, the minister of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs, said authorities would interview the parents.
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