On the 21st of April, 2015 Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights-YUCOM reported to the Vracar Police Department of the Ministry of Interior unidentified persons for attacking and gravely injuring G. M. on the 16th of April, 2015. Upon receiving the information, police officers of the PD Vracar have identified two persons who allegedly committed the attack.
In consultation with the First Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, on the 28th of April, 2015, police filed criminal charges against the suspects (KU No. 7446/15), who are under suspicion of having committed a criminal offense Violent behavior under the Article 344 of the Serbian Criminal Code. The suspects had attacked G.M. from behind, while shouting messages of hatred towards members of the LGBT population.
YUCOM welcomes the prompt and efficient reaction of the Ministry of Interior and calls on the First Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office to take into account the fact that all the circumstances of this case indicate a hate crime. The circumstances fully comply with the conditions laid down by Article 54a of the Serbian Criminal Code, since the attack was provoked by the perceived sexual orientation of the victim. Considering the fact that this violent behavior was committed out of hatred based on the victim’s sexual orientation, this case is expected to be one of the first cases of hate crime, as aggravating circumstance, despite the fact that hate crime was introduced to the Serbian Criminal Code in 2012.