On Thursday 17 May, EU Heads of State are meeting their counterparts from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo) to discuss cooperation in several areas, including migration and security. (more…)
Protecting people across borders – NGO statement ahead of the EU-Western Balkans Summit of 17 May 2018
The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) hereby informs the public that late last night, on 25 December 2017, the Serbian authorities extradited Kurdish political activist Cevdet Ayaz to his country of origin, Turkey, where he faces the risk of persecution because of his political opinions. Mr. Ayaz, who faces a 15-year-long prison sentence handed down pursuant to a judgment based on a confession he had apparently given under torture, was returned pursuant to an extradition request the Turkish authorities had sent their Serbian counterparts. (more…)
Civic associations with years-long experience in law and the judiciary hereby express concern about the way in which the expert and general public is engaged in the constitutional amendment procedure. In our opinion, the representatives of the Government and Justice Ministry need to open a public debate on constitutional amendments without delay, in which they will involve not only select civic associations (which had submitted their written suggestions on constitutional amendments), but other associations, institutions and most importantly – the citizens – as well. (more…)
The advancement of Islamists in Iraq and Syria alongside unceasing clashes between government and rebel forces, the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan wherein the highest number of civilian casualties in the last 15 years was recorded, as well as the expansion of territories under control of ethnic and religious rebels in Libya and Yemen, and further deterioration of countries in sub-Saharan Africa led to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe since May 2015.
On Sunday, 25 October, representatives of the European Union, its member states and Western Balkan countries came to an agreement concerning certain principles to be applied in further efforts to handle the refugee situation in Europe. The plan involves, inter alia, increasing reception capacity in Western Balkan countries in order to accommodate up to 50.000 refugees, discouraing the secondary movement of refugees from the country they find themselves in and facilitating the efficient return of persons who do not meet the criteria for the granting of international protection to their countries of origin. (more…)