BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- About 50 people protesting alleged police harassment and the jailing of a dissident refused food for a fourth day Tuesday in a hunger strike outside parliament.
'We'll not take food nor leave this place until our demands are met,' said Dzevad Galijasevic of Mosevac, a village near the town of Maglaj in central Yugoslavia.
The protesters are demanding the release of Hasan Delic, who was arrested May 13 after he and Galijasevic staged a protest rally in Mosevac, 150 miles southwest of Belgrade. The two had criticized local communist leaders in Mosevac alleging abuses of power and illegal money transactions.
Galijasevic said police used clubs to beat Delic and other villagers who were nearby. Delic had for months evaded going to prison to serve a seven-month sentence for a public order offense.
'We demand the immediate release from prison of Hasan Delic and we want Bosnian (republic) officials to alter their assessment that our rally was hostile to the Yugoslav communist regime,' Galijasevic said.
Delic was taken to a prison near Maglaj and went on a hunger strike, his mother said.
Galijasevic and a group of villagers traveled to Belgrade May 15 and discussed the matter with Yugoslav Interior Minister Petar Gracanin, who promised to form a commission to investigate complaints against Mosevac government leaders.
About 50 villagers from Mosevac returned to the Yugoslav capital Saturday morning and began a hunger strike in the park across from the Yugoslav parliamentbuilding in downtown Belgrade.
Parliament officials told the protesters the federal body cannot arrange the release of Delic from prison and that the matter is up to the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of Yugoslavia's six republics.