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May 6, 2015

Macedonians clash with police over government 'murder cover-up'

Demonstrators chant 'murderer' while demanding the government's resignation.
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A protester gives flowers to a cordon of special police forces who are guarding a government building during an anti-government protest in Skopje on May 5 2015. (EPA/IVANA BATEV)

Peaceful demonstrations in front of the Macedonian government headquarters turned violent as riot police stepped in to disperse the protesters. Macedonians took to the streets on May 5 to demand the government's resignation after the opposition released wiretapped telephone recordings of top officials allegedly trying to conceal a murder. Conversations suggest the cabinet of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski plotted the cover-up of the 2011 death of a 22-year-old man beaten by police during post-election celebrations.

Dozens of people, mostly police officers, were injured and many others were arrested in the clashes. Rights groups reportedly claimed police used excessive force in dispersing the demonstrators. The interior ministry said that protesters were throwing objects at the police.

Twitter users shared images and videos from the protests with #протестирам ("I protest"), #долувлада ("Down with the government") and #ПолицискаБруталност ("Police brutality"):

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