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We welcome the final verdict acquitting Srdjan Vukša, an activist accused of violating the Law on Public Assembly, on the occasion of organizing last year’s protests in Serbia.  The end of 2021 was marked by civil protests, which were attended by tens of thousands of citizens who wanted to express dissatisfaction with the Law on Expropriation, as well as laws that would limit their right to participate in public policy directly – the Laws on Referendum and the People’s Initiative.

 

Press releases FW
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We, the undersigned, are concerned by the negative and lasting consequences of the recent statement by the mayor of Deçan/Dečani, Bashkim Ramosaj, vowing that the decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo on Deçan/Dečane Monastery’s land ownership will never be implemented All judgments of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo should be upheld. The constitution provides important guarantees to all Kosovo’s citizens, yet such guarantees only have real meaning if court decisions are implemented by physical and legal entities throughout Kosovo.

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We, the undersigned civil society organizations from Kosovo and Serbia, strongly condemn the offensive and derogatory language by Serbia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin, against Albanians. We urge the Serbian government, respectively the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, to react and condemn the use of such hate speech by Minister Vulin and appeal against the use of the word ‘Šiptar’.

 

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The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights YUCOM organized an expert mobile team for short-term observation of elections and assessment of the quality of the voting process of citizens of the Republic of Serbia in the presidential, parliamentary and Belgrade elections held on April 3, 2022.

Press releases saop
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has negatively impacted the international rules-based order. The Western Balkans is especially vulnerable to global developments which put at risk international law, democracy, and human rights. We, the representatives of civil society organizations from Kosovo and Serbia, condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and call upon our governments to align with the European Union’s stance.

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The organisations gathered around the Three Freedoms Platform fiercely condemn the aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukraine and warn that a blatant violation of international law norms is at hand. We call upon the international stakeholders and humanitarian organisations to do all in their powers to prevent further suffering of the civilian population, and upon the relevant institutions of the Republic of Serbia to contribute to that end, as well as to prepare for providing assistance to the people fleeing their homes. Also, we call upon the institutions of the Republic of Serbia to join other European countries and condemn the aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukraine. This is one of the important moments of the European solidarity and Serbia, if it wishes to be part of the European Union, must demonstrate that its shares the EU values.

 

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A group of civil society organisations and experts hereby points out that the way laws and by-laws are passed, amended and abolished shows a true picture of the catastrophic state of democracy in Serbia. The content, enactment and urgent abolishment of the decree stipulating that scientific and other research of importance for the country’s defense, conducted in cooperation with foreign entities, will require the approval of competent authorities, violates all principles of democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression.

 

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We express our solidarity with the Women in Black and we invite everyone who wants and can to come and join us for the cleaning of hate graffiti on Wednesday, October 27, from 1 pm at the premises of Women in Black (Jug Bogdanova 18) in Belgrade.

We call for urgent prosecution of persons who wrote hate graffiti and insults on the premises of Women in Black in Belgrade on the night between Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23, 2021. Moreover, we consider the condemnation of the attack by the representatives of the executive and legislative authorities necessary since the members of the ruling coalition as well as the pro-government media often slandered this organization and its members as traitors.

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Organizations gathered around the “Three Freedoms” platform caution the National Assembly and the Serbian public that the Law on Protection against Noise in the Environment, adopted yesterday in the parliamentary procedure, is not in compliance with the Law on Public Assembly and international standards governing the right to freedom of assembly. At a time when a large number of public debates are taking place in Serbia on changes to the laws that affect the rule of law and human rights, leaving a very short deadline for analyzing regulations and sending comments, the Serbian government’s proposal restricting the right to public assembly went almost unnoticed.

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Civil society organizations drew the attention of the Venice Commission delegation representatives to the fact that, when giving an opinion on the draft constitutional amendments concerning the judiciary, it is necessary to consider the state of democratic institutions, and the political context, having in mind that whether the constitutional changes will indeed ensure the independence of the judiciary depends on these two factors.

 

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