U.S. State Department report – Serbia is still struggling with corruption

There were no significant changes in the human rights situation in Serbia during 2023, reads the US State Department 2023 Report on Human Rights Practices in Serbia.

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious restrictions on free expression and the press, including violence, threats of violence, and unjustified legal cases against journalists; serious government corruption; trafficking in persons; and crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or other sexual minority individuals, reads the report.

The government took steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who may have committed human rights abuses, both in the police force and elsewhere in the government, following public allegations of abuses. Nevertheless, many observers believed numerous cases of corruption, social and domestic violence, attacks on civil society, and other abuses went unreported and unpunished, according to the report.

Last week, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed deep concern about the state of democracy in Serbia.

The Committee adopted the Western Balkans Democracy and Prosperity Act which said that “the parliamentary and local elections held in Serbia on December 17, 2023, and their immediate aftermath are cause for deep concern about the state of Serbia’s democracy”.

It recalled that the OSCE/ODIHR final report on the elections found unjust conditions and numerous procedural deficiencies. “The OSCE also noted that Serbian officials accused primarily peaceful protestors, opposition parties, and civil society of ‘‘attempting to destabilize the government’’, a concerning allegation that threatens the safety of important elements of Serbian society,” the Act said.

 (N1, 22.04.2024)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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