30 Mar Three freedoms under the magnifying glass: 16-26 March 2020

Review of violations of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Serbia 16-26 March 2020

The planetary pandemic of the Covid-19 virus led to a significant departure from the usual way of life in many countries, which in Serbia was reflected in the declaration of a state of emergency and an absolute restriction on freedom of assembly and a partial restriction on freedom of movement. The emerging crisis has further added to the role of the media whose timely, objective and truthful reporting is of great importance to public health and safety of citizens. It is precisely in this sphere that the greatest number of serious irregularities and violations of the right to the undisturbed work of journalists has been observed, which also means a violation of the right to information of citizens. There are numerous examples of denying to journalist the right to attend press conferences, unavailability of information relevant to the conduct of journalists work, or unduly favoring certain media. The public is still in a dilemma as to whether the state of emergency will lead to the introduction of censorship, which could be heard from media close to the ruling party. When it comes to freedom of association, formally speaking, there have been no violations in this area, but the essential work of associations and civil society organizations is seriously jeopardized, primarily due to the termination of funding of projects of public importance.

 

You can download the overview of violations of freedom of association, assembly and expression for the past two weeks below.

Three freedoms of the magnifying glass 16-25 March

 

Representatives of 20 civil society organisations signed in Belgrade the Three Freedoms Platform for the Protection of Civic Space in the Republic of Serbia, in order to protect and promote the freedom of association, assembly and information.The Platform is intended to act as a joint block of civil society organizations (associations, professional organizations, foundations, endowments, and other forms of associations including informal groups of citizens) to stand for the protection of endangered freedoms and create conditions for unhindered participation of citizens in public affairs through civil society development.

* Civic Initiatives as a partner of CIVICUS Monitor for Serbia send bi-weekly reports in English since August 2018.  Learn more about the CIVICUS Monitor here.