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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.

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We would like to announce that, due to the situation with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the intensified measures of the Government of the Republic of Serbia regarding declaring a state of emergency, the Human Rights House with its member organizations unanimously decided that their employees will work from home in the upcoming period.

For more detailed information on the work and activities of each organization in the upcoming period, do not hesitate to contact them via websites or e-mail addresses.

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Human Rights House once again warns the public about the dangers of Vojislav Seselj’s political actions and ongoing disturbing rhetoric about the 1990s, which recently resulted in a physical attack against civil society activists. Activists who have protested the convicted war criminal’s promotion of his book denying the Srebrenica genocide must be protected from physical attacks. Their protests are especially important as they are objecting to the illicit use of public resources to promote war criminals.

 

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Civil society organizations are calling on the State Prosecutors’ Council, the Republic Public Prosecutor and the HJC to do their work and stop further falling apart of institutions through the tabloids.

The actions of the Republic Public Prosecutor, based solely on the writing of the tabloid, without any verification, indicate a lack of confidence in the institution and in the members of the institution he is in charge of.

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We are addressing this letter to you, as the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, but also to Mr. Vladimir Marinkovic, who chaired the Fourteenth Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly on July 16, 2019 with the intent to indicate to the serious abuses of the rights of the members of the Assembly clearly set forth in the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly and the violation ofthe Constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia.

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The House of Human Rights and Democracy strongly condemns statements of the representatives of the executive and legislative authorities directed against Judge Miodrag Majic at the session of the National Assembly, as an attempt to undermine the professional integrity and independence of a judge for expressing his expert opinion. Contesting the independence and expertise of a judge and retaliation due to exercising his, guaranteed by the Constitution, rights to freedom of expression and association is unacceptable in a democratic society.

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In a letter, published today, that the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights addressed on May 7, 2019, to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, Nela Kuburovic, the authorities have been recalled to reconsider the Draft law introducing a sentence of lifelong imprisonment eligibility for conditional release for persons convicted of some of the gravest crimes.

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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.

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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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