Three Freedoms Under the Magnifying Glass: May 17 – May 30, 2024

Belgrade, May 30, 2024

Violations of basic freedoms in Serbia

May 17 – May 30, 2024

 

It is difficult to talk about violations of basic civil and political rights, while the whole world is witnessing the destruction of Palestine and the killing of civilians, mostly women and children. We are witnessing the most brutal trampling of all international declarations and conventions on human rights, and the reaction of the international community, with certain exceptions, is absent. Shocking footage of Israel’s latest attack on the Rafah refugee camp has gone viral around the world, but there are no signs that more pressure will be exerted for a ceasefire. Human rights should be universal, and not only invoked for their protection when they are denied to certain groups of people. While the world silently watches the brutal killing of civilians, peace activists demanding a ceasefire face repression and stifling of free speech. Pro-Palestinian activists in Serbia have also been targeted by the police.

Other examples of violations of political rights in Serbia are mainly related to the campaign for the upcoming elections. Although it seemed that there was almost no pre-election campaign, behind the scenes cases of intimidation of journalists, detention of activists and disruption of the work of civil society organizations continued. Tonight at midnight, pre-election silence begins. During the period while the pre-election silence lasts, the media and public gatherings must not talk about evaluations of election results, introduce candidates or tell voters how to vote. Then the silence is justified and clearly defined by law. However, when it comes to human rights, silence must never prevail. As individuals and as a society, we must not allow silence when basic human rights are under attack. Silence is approval. Human rights are inalienable and should be loudly fought for.

On recorded cases of human rights violations in Serbia, see the report below: