Is the Serbian government being controlled by independent institutions? To what extent can one criticize the work of the PM, the President and other state officials without being labeled as a “foreign mercenary”? Why do the bearers of executive power perceive all criticism of their work as an attack on the state? These were some of the questions which were discussed Wednesday night at a debate in Belgrade held in the House of Culture where reporters, NGO activists and political analysts expressed their views.
The Representative of the Delegation of the EU in Serbia, Yolanda San Hose, stated today that Serbia has made many steps in the fight against discrimination in order to achieve European standards but has also pointed out that the implementation of the laws is more important then just their passing in Parliament and that Serbia can count on EU’s support.
In the words of Milan Antonijevic, the director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights, “the current biggest problem in the judiciary is that we don’t have a judiciary.”
“No trials have been held for several months and I don’t see anyone working on a plan of what to do when the judiciary starts working again after the lawyers’ strike comes to an end. We must then see an extraordinarily active prosecutor’s office and an extraordinarily active judiciary in order to make up for lost time. In my opinion, the Ministry must come forth with a clear plan on how this is going to unfold,” Antonijevic points out.
It came recently to our attention that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe put on its agenda election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Serbia set for 27 January 2015.
On behalf of NGOs Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights and Belgrade Center for Human Rights, we are writing to express consternation of the civil society in Serbia with candidates proposed for this high post and the non-transparent and discriminatory procedure for their selection.
False allegations against the Serbian war crimes prosecution and the enforced retirement of the prosecutor suggest that powerful people are still trying to hide the truth about the 1990s conflicts.
In the shadow of global events, such as the tragic attack in Paris and the mass killing in Nigeria, when we look closely at someone else’s backyard, it is our duty to look at our own yard too. We need to acknowledge what we have done about the 1990s, when similar news was coming out of our country, when just like today innocent people were targeted because of religion, hatred, warmongering propaganda and someone else’s interests.
Civil society organization Safe Pulse of Youth has presented within the project Coalition for Equality – STEP a new publication titled „On the other side of homophobia: Analysis of the life experiences of LGBT persons in Serbia and recommendations for lowering discrimination“.
Twenty people were interviewed in the course of preparing this publication, in order to attain the personal confessions of LGBT people. These confessions were then classified into three categories, in order to emphasize the numerous difficulties that LGBT people face in everyday life – in the family home, at school and at work.
Amnesty International is concerned about reports on the arrest and detention of nine Bulgarian nationals, a Slovak and a Finnish national by the Serbian authorities, in what appears to be attempts to prevent the holding of peaceful demonstrations.
The individuals, who had reportedly travelled to Serbia to participate in peaceful demonstrations against the Chinese authorities’ actions towards Falun Gong practitioners during a summit of leaders from Central Eastern Europe and China in the capital Belgrade, were taken from their hotels by police and detained.
Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM wants to invite you to the final annual conference “The Challenges of Free Legal Aid Providing and the Mechanisms for Combating Hate Crimes” which will be held in the Media Center Belgrade (Terazije 3, Big Hall, at the first floor) on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12 p.m.
The activities and results of YUCOM’s work on improving the protection of human rights in Serbia in 2014 will be presented at the conference. Taking into account this year’s focus on the issues relating to citizens’ access to justice, as well as problems and challenges in combating hate crimes, the panelists will present their experiences and challenges in legal representation in 2014, particularly in relation to ineffective response of the system in cases of injuries human rights.
The Hague Tribunal is releasing the Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj because he has cancer and his health is deteriorating, although his marathon trial is not yet over.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, on Thursday granted provisional release to Vojislav Seselj, who has been on trial for 11 years for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia during the 1990s.
SERBIA 2014 PROGRESS REPORT
Accomplanying the document
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2014-2015