Serbian army obliged to vaccinate against coronavirus – Military union protests

The Military Union of Serbia claims that the compulsory vaccination of all army personnel was ordered by the Chief of Staff Milan Mojsilovic, which was confirmed by the Ministry.

The union, claiming that this is discrimination as vaccination is assessed as a prerequisite for career advancement or training, has taken the case to the Prosecutor General and the Ombudsman.

“It doesn’t hurt, don’t worry,” the President of Serbia told the soldiers at the vaccination point in the Dedinje army barracks a few days ago. On that day, 180 soldiers and their family members were vaccinated, and the President was satisfied, although he was convinced that more could be done.

The military union says it knows how the Chief of Staff succeeded in making vaccination mandatory. A part of the document, which is claimed to be authentic, has been disclosed, in which it is ordered to that at least 70% of army staff should be vaccinated at various army barracks by 25 May, and that those who do not comply with the order will be subject to disciplinary measures. It is also stated that the Human Resources Administration will require information on vaccination as a prerequisite for promotion to a higher rank, and that the unvaccinated soldiers will not be sent to training or advanced training.

“Here is an example of an order used in the Serbian Army, issued at the request of the Chief of General Staff on 10 May, which prescribes mandatory vaccination for all military personnel who have not been vaccinated so far and which will be implemented from 17 May to 6 June. We are therefore faced with a clear form of discrimination in writing, on the part of a top state body”, says Novica Antic.

The union says that it has informed the Prosecutor’s Office because this is an abuse of position, as well as the Ombudsman and the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.

“Most of the army staff has been vaccinated voluntarily and we, in the union, have been vaccinated too, myself included. However, we have to react as a union and as a state to respect the will of every man guaranteed by the constitution, as these are fundamental freedoms and rights of everyone,” Antic warns.

The inoculation of the Serbian army began on 19 January at the Belgrade Trade Fair, and Defence Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic was vaccinated with the first group of soldiers. The Ministry of Defence has launched a campaign on social media which aims to eliminate dilemmas about vaccines against the coronavirus.

(N1, 18.05.2021)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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