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The House of Human Rights and Democracy condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of Belgrade police during their securing of the “1 of 5 million” rallies on Saturday and Sunday. Preventing disorder and protecting people and property are the primary tasks of police when it comes to securing public assemblies. Their inadequate assessment of the predictable security risk posed by protesters entering the RTS building, as well as the lack of a timely reaction, contributed to the escalation of violence. Therefore, the subsequent use of force by the police, which participants of the rally have been recorded and published, can be deemed disproportionate.

Press releases press
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On the occasion of one year since the beginning of the implementation of the Agreement on Judiciary concluded within the Brussels Dialogue of Belgrade and Prishtina, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights YUCOM from Belgrade and the Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture ACDC from Mitrovica, invite the authorities in Belgrade and Prishtina to act responsibly regarding the implementation of undertaken obligations and introduce the implementation reporting.

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Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM informs the public that on Friday, November 2nd, the first criminal verdict was reached, where, imposing a sentence on a criminal offense, a hate crime, as a special aggravating circumstance, was taken into account.

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Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM and the civil society organizations listed below, have expressed concern about the solutions contained in the Draft Law on Free Legal Aid.  This is problematic seeing that this Law can directly affect the right to a balanced and equal access to justice for all people who are in need of it.

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Our organisations, committed to rule of law values, have always advocated the exclusion of any undue influence on the judiciary and the improvement of the quality of the national judiciary, with a view to achieving the standards of quality, efficient and accountable judicial systems and the full separation of powers. We therefore applaud the publication of the draft version of the constitutional amendments by the Justice Ministry, hoping that it will initiate a genuine and substantial public debate among the representatives of the government, judicial profession and the NGO sector.

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Civic associations with years-long experience in law and the judiciary hereby express concern about the way in which the expert and general public is engaged in the constitutional amendment procedure. In our opinion, the representatives of the Government and Justice Ministry need to open a public debate on constitutional amendments without delay, in which they will involve not only select civic associations (which had submitted their written suggestions on constitutional amendments), but other associations, institutions and most importantly – the citizens – as well. We call on the Justice Ministry to publish the draft constitutional amendments to be debated.

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