Announcement

BCHR Surprised by the Culture and Information Ministry’s Rapid Initiation of Misdemeanour Proceedings against Belgrade Weekly Vreme

January 18, 2020

 

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights hereby expresses its surprise at the speed at which the Ministry of Culture and Information filed a misdemeanour report against the eminent Belgrade weekly Vreme and sincerely hopes that it will continue responding as rapidly and diligently to all breaches by media outlets, especially the tabloids that have grossly violated the Press Code of Conduct and the Public Information and Media Act on innumerable occasions, as the many Press Council decisions against them corroborate. The BCHR expects that the Ministry will just as fervently and consistently react to any future violations in accordance with the law, ethical principles and pledge to support the professional work of the media, given the sizable funds allocated to tabloid media through various projects. We have no doubt that the Ministry values the tax-payers’ money and believes that it should be used expediently and allocated in accordance with public interests, professional public information standards, culture of speech and dialogue, and Serbia’s laws and Constitution.     

To recall, BCHR on 11 January 2020 filed a criminal report with the Republican Public Prosecution Service (RPPS) against unidentified staff of the Niš Higher Public Prosecution Service and/or the city police officers, who are suspected of leaking to the dailies Informer, Alo Srpski telegraf and its Internet portal republika.rs  the statement Ninoslav Jovanović from Malča gave the Niš Higher Public Prosecutor, in which he testified in detail of the grave crimes he committed  against his underage victim. The Ministry initiated misdemeanour proceedings against Vreme because it ran the tabloids’ front-pages to illustrate its article titled “Evil Looming from the Newsstands”.

BCHR Submits Initiative for an Inspection of the Work of the Požarevac General Hospital

January 15, 2020

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights submitted an initiative for an inspection of the work of the Požarevac General Hospital, after the latter refused to allow access to or hand over the body of a still-born baby to its parents. The BCHR filed the initiative for the inspection of the work of the Požarevac hospital and, if necessary, initiation of misdemeanour proceedings together with the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM and the A11 Initiative for Economic and Social Rights. The initiative was launched after media reported in late 2019 that the Požarevac General Hospital refused to allow access to or hand over the body of a still-born baby to its parents. The video footage published on the Internet showed the Hospital Director telling the parents that still-born children were treated as foetuses and that the body would be disposed of in accordance with the Medical Waste Rulebook.  (more…)

Criminal Report filed against Unidentified Staff of the Niš Prosecution Service and Police for Leaking Suspected Child Molester’s Testimony to Tabloids

January 13, 2020

On 11 January 2020, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights filed a criminal report with the Republican Public Prosecution Service (RPPS) against unidentified staff of the Niš Higher Public Prosecution Service and/or the city police officers. They are suspected of leaking to tabloids the statement Ninoslav Jovanović from Malča gave the Niš Higher Public Prosecutor in early January 2020, which contained details of the grave crimes he had committed against his underage victim. By leaking his testimony to the dailies Informer, Alo, Srpski telegraf and its Internet portal republika.rs, the officials have committed the following offences that are incriminated by the Criminal Code and prosecuted ex officio: violation of confidentiality of proceedings (Article 337), abuse of office (Article 359) and/or violation of the law by judges, public prosecutors or their deputies (Article 360).   (more…)

Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment Finds Serbia in Violation of the Convention against Torture for Extraditing Kurdish Political Activist Cevdet Ayaz

September 2, 2019

 

The Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has adopted a decision finding the Republic of Serbia in violation of Articles 3 and 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment for extraditing Kurdish political activist Cevdet Ayaz to Turkey on 25 December 2017.     (more…)

In memoriam Prof. Dr. Lidija Basta Fleiner

July 2, 2019

We have lost our dear Lidija, a member of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights Council, a true and loyal friend. She lectured at the University in Fribourg, Switzerland, for a long time and led the Institute for Federalism. She cooperated with the Belgrade Centre on several joint projects and headed the expert group drafting the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and reorganising the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (2000-2001). Lidija was also active in the Council of Europe for years and chaired the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities.

Although Lidija had lived abroad for years, she never lost touch with the BCHR and often visited us, always keen to help us and cheer us up. She was a friend one must never lose, a friend forever.  

We will always remember this sanguine, sophisticated and noble woman. She was an outstanding lawyer and humanist, a champion of justice and respect for human rights. She always found the time to hear everyone out, to advise us and to instil hope whenever we lost it due to unfortunate circumstances. 

STATEMENT – WORLD REFUGEE DAY

June 20, 2019

64814021_10157010867820743_7202708615508000768_n

We mark the World Refugee Day in 2019 with the highest number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide in the last 70 years. According to the UNHCR more than 70.8 million people are forcibly displaced in this moment with weak or no perspective for return to their countries of origin. This number includes refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced who will spend World Refugee Day away from their homes with unpredictable future.

Belgrade Centre for Human Right reminds the authorities of the Republic of Serbia that they have an obligation to consistently fulfil obligations stemming from the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol as well as to devote more efforts in order to provide efficient application of the national legal framework in the areas of asylum system and migration management.

We believe that the World Refugee Day belongs to all the people who were forced to flee their homes due to wars and severe violations of human rights and today we would like to share voices of those who came to our country seeking for refuge and protection:

We have security and peace, and most importantly, the people of Serbia have accepted us in their own society. Having the citizenship of Serbia in the future would be the greatest honor for us. Our message is: Helping people, despite geographical and racial differences, is the greatest humanitarian action in the world.

 3-member family from Iran, granted refugee status in the Republic of Serbia in 2019.

When I decided to leave my country, I dreamt to reach some safe place where I can build my future. Serbia is a safe place and I feel I’m at home. In order to be fully integrated in this society I need more working opportunities and help to meet new people in order to better understand the culture. The most important thing for refugees is to find a safe place and being able to live freely and fearless no matter where they are. 

Single women from Somalia, asylum seeker in the Republic of Serbia.

I feel safe. Serbia is a nice place to stay, people are polite and it’s close to our culture. I dream about normal and stable life, to improve my skills and have a better future. I need to improve my knowledge of the Serbian language, to have a job, to have Serbian friends, and of course to fall in love with a Serbian girl. My message for the World refugee day is:  no war brought any good to any nation, we are all people, our origin doesn’t matter and intolerance should not be accepted. Also, I hope that every country will have more patience and tolerance towards refugees.

Unaccompanied child from Syria, asylum seeker in the Republic of Serbia.

 

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights will continue to provide support to refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of Serbia in order to support their efforts to find a safe place for living and a better future.  

 

Statement can be downloaded HERE.