Lawyers’ Committee for Human RIghts, with the expert support of UN Human Rights Team Serbia presents the second 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 – The Right to a Fair Trial
In the Republic of Serbia, in order to prevent the spread of the infection and the effects caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Decision on Declaring a State of Emergency was adopted on March 15th 2020. This decision, as well as many other regulations concerning it, that were adopted, have resulted in the restriction of certain rights of citizens.
“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.
Serbian NGO Lawyers’ Committee For Human Rights (YUCOM) say they have also received similar reports.
“In a state of emergency it is possible to restrict individual human rights, however, if citizens are not adequately informed about their rights and obligations, we have a serious threat to the right to legal certainty,” Milena Vasic of YUCOM told KRIK.
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.
The President of the Republic announced today the decision to declare a state of emergency, due to the danger of the coronavirus spreading. Along with the decision, he announced certain measures which would be introduced within the state of emergency. These measures entail closing of schools, kindergartens, faculites, as well as sports activities. A sentence of up to 3 years of prison was also announced for those who violate the decision on isolation, as well as the mandatory quarantine for Serbian citizens coming from abroad.
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.
For years, Mirjana Novokmet has tried to find out what happened to her first child back in 1978.
Novokmet, only 19-years-old at the time, was told at a Belgrade clinic that her baby boy was stillborn. She wasn’t allowed to see him, and she has not been able to determine with certainty why he died or where he is buried.
Serbian lawmakers have adopted a long-awaited law they say will shed light on the mystery of hundreds of missing babies more than 30 years ago, and offer compensation to parents where the fate of their child cannot be determined.
In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of Serbian babies (some advocates say thousands) mysteriously vanished from hospitals and birth clinics with no explanation or proof of death.