HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 – Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Freedom of the Media, the Right to Be Informed
Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, with the expert support of UN Human Rights Team Serbia presents the third brief analysis HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 – Analysis of the changes in legal framework during a state of emergency and impact on enjoying human rights – Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Freedom of the Media, the Right to Be Informed
“You cannot choose which part of the legal system you want to respect”
The Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) based in Belgrade, Katarina Golubović, explains that the restriction of movement is not in itself unconstitutional, but that it can become if it is assessed that it was imposed in such a way that it threatens the so-called absolute rights.
We draw the attention of the domestic and international public to the unacceptable recent moves by the state authorities in Serbia during the state of emergency introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which undermine democracy, rule of law, basic human rights and especially freedom of media. We condemn the arrest of Nova.rs journalist Ana Lalić, to whom the Novi Sad Police Department imposed a measure of detention of up to 48 hours on April 1, 2020 because, as her lawyer stated, she is suspected that she could repeat the crime, publishing articles which are causing panic and chaos.
The main goal of the project is to strengthen the capacities of human rights defenders both nationally and locally in Serbia. The project aims to improve the situation for human rights defenders such that they can perform their tasks with more confidence; advocate for greater alignment of the existing legislation to international human rights standards; and develop an early warning mechanism for reporting breaches of rights and pressures.