Amnesty International report:”Serbia still glorifies war criminals”

In its latest report, Amnesty International warned that the institutional glorification of convicted war criminals overshadowed the slow prosecution of outstanding war crimes in Serbia.

The organization’s State of the World’s Human Rights report also said that independent and investigative journalists and activists faced threats, vilification and punitive civil proceedings.

The report goes on to say that a proposed Law on Internal Affairs further threatened the right to freedom of assembly. According to the report, the authorities made wide-ranging use of CCTV and other forms of intrusive surveillance operated by both state-owned and private companies.

“Demonstrations, especially environmental protests, were heavily policed, with participants frequently subjected to unnecessary and excessive force, the report said and cited the example of riot police being deployed to remove peaceful protesters attempting to stop tree-felling in Novi Sad.

“The authorities routinely contracted private security companies, sometimes in plain clothes and without visible insignia, to “police” protests, often using unlawful force,” the report said.

The report noted the killing of at least 27 women and added that social welfare services often lack the trained staff to deal with domestic violence and provide counselling shelter and legal aid. “The criminal code’s definition of rape, based on the use of force rather than lack of consent, was inconsistent with international and regional standards. Women journalists, human rights defenders and activists were often threatened with violence, both online and in person,” it added.

The report said that the Law on the Social Card left some people living in extreme poverty without any social assistance by weakening an already inadequate social assistance system, which covered fewer than half of the people living in extreme poverty. The law disproportionately affected Roma and people whose disabilities were not recognized, the report noted.

(NIN, 24.04.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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