The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) obliged the Government of Serbia to answer questions regarding endangering the security of activists of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights after the unsuccessful removal of the mural of Ratko Mladic on November 9 in Njegoševa street in Belgrade and the ban of public assembly by the Ministry of Interior.

After the institutions did not react to the violent threats and attacks on YIHR’s premises, the activists of the Initiative addressed the ECtHR, which is now asking the Government to explain the actions or inactions of the institutions. The questions that the Government of the Republic of Serbia must answer to the European Court by December 15 are, among others: what steps were taken after the violent threats, what steps were taken after the attack on the Initiative’s office, whether the perpetrators were identified; were there any criminal proceedings?

The Government of Serbia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office have not addressed this issue so far. The Ministry of the Interior refused to provide the Initiative with any information related to its actions regarding threats and attacks, and instructed us to submit requests under the Freedom of Information law. YIHR never got any response from the MInistry.

The attacks on the Initiative are part of the same matrix and politics as the attacks on Women in Black, whose offices have been vandalized twice in the past two months, and whose activists were attacked in central Belgrade when their banner “We will never forget the Srebrenica genocide” was stolen and subsequently publicly set on fire. At the same time, according to the same recipe, the part of Vracar around the mural to Ratko Mladic has been a zone of lawlessness for a month, where hooligans rule, where laws are not enforced, which was confirmed today by the instant renewal of the mural after the Municipality of Vracar tried to remove it during the night.

The Government of Serbia is obliged to provide detailed answers to the European Court of Human Rights by December 15th.

You can read the letter of the European Court of Human Rights informing us about further steps, but also the obligations of the Government of Serbia here.