Public has the right to know

November 27, 2006

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights would like to draw attention to the impermissible conduct of the officials who had ordered and supervised the police interventions in the Niš and Požarevac prisons last week. Although several days have passed since the Gendarmerie intervention, the Justice Ministry and prison directorate officials still keep silent about the circumstances in which the police acted, the degree of force used against the rioting prisoners, the number of injured inmates and the gravity of their injuries. The public has only had the chance to indirectly hear the accounts of the doctors who had seen to  the injured inmates. (more…)

Haste makes waste

September 28, 2006

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights is appalled at the manner in which the authorities are planning on imposing a new constitution upon Serbia. Unfortunately, all parliamentary political parties are willing to vote for the new constitution for a single albeit dubious national reason – to include a declaration on Kosovo’s status in the Preamble to the Constitution. If that is the sole reason, as topmost leaders, notably the Prime Minister, have been reiterating every day, then we do not need a new constitution. The current one already  mentions Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of Serbia. (more…)

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights statement with respect to the first European court for Human Rights Judgment against Serbia

September 20, 2006

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 19 September 2006 delivered its first judgment against Serbia, in the Matijašević case. The ECtHR Second Chamber on 29 August 2006 concluded that Serbia had violated Article 6, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which states that: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”. (more…)

War cries

September 4, 2006

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) would like to express it deepest concern about the attack on Nataša Kandić, the Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre, on 3 September. The BCHR, other NGOs and the few responsible media in Serbia have for a long time been warning that the climate of the nineties has again begun to prevail in Serbia. It involves physical assaults on and threats to the lives of individuals and organisations daring to disagree with the opinions that the Government and most media close to government services or other powerful financial or other interests wish to impose as prevalent upon Serbia. (more…)

Cowardly demonstration of “Patriotism”

July 13, 2006

The Belgrade Centre of Human Rights alerts to the unacceptable conduct of the Niš police officers, who have harassed the members of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) with the excuse of «informally questioning» them. In contravention of domestic laws and ratified international human rights treaties, the Niš police questioned the YIHR members for several hours about their political convictions and insulted them on various grounds. The Serbian legislation clearly sets out police powers during questioning. Not only are the police not allowed to deliver lectures on patriotism and issue grave threats, the law explicitly prohibits and punishes such police conduct in all their contacts with citizens. (more…)