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INFO   :::  Human Rights > Legal Aid > Legal Assistance Report (1 July 2001 - 30 September 2001)


Legal Assistance Report
(1 July 2001 - 30 September 2001)

08/17/2002, Source: Legal Assistance Report (1 Jul - 30 Sep 2001), Author: HCHRS


With respect to earlier period there was a decrease in the number of cases, due to summer holidays. But the structure of cases makes us draw the following conclusion: we have several regular categories of clients, notably all those who complain about judiciary misuses and poor law enforcement. Citizens are also disgruntled with performances of new authorities, as they see them engaging only in marginal matters. Parliaments -Serbian and Yugosalva-are not passing relevant laws, as indicated by a small number of legal acts adopted in the past three months.

Added to selective debates on bills, the executive bodies rule through decrees and ad hoc decisions. This indicates their intent to keep in place the previous system and manner of rule.

Serbia faces major problems: incomplete privatisation, fight against corruption, growing social and labour tensions, unresolved status of Kosovo and Metohija, relations with Montenegro. Unregulated state-legal status of the FRY makes invalid legal acts passed by the federal authorities. The Republic of Serbia is 'burdened' by legal acts of double authorities (federal and republican) which only feign the existence of the state. All federal provisions are enforced only in what is called 'narrower' Serbia and Vojvodina. The cumbersome federal administration exists only in that territory. Co-operation with the Hague Tribunal has not been established in practice. There are no indications of a clean break with the past. Process of facing up to the recent wartime responsibility has not commenced yet. DOS, the ruling 18-party member coalition, is deeply divided. One gets the impression that the DOS members have already launched their independent pre-electoral campaigns. Democratic Party of Serbia withdrew its members from the executive bodies and demanded re-shuffle of the government of Serbia. While new power-brokers tested the reaches of their power, health and education system (religious education was introduced in the school curricula despite constitutional provisions banning such decision) were rapidly collapsing. Situation was aggravated in the province of judiciary and prosecutors' offices. A new bill on courts of law was passed, judges and other court officials were appointed and dismissed, but a lot still remains to be done in this important area.

Public Prosecutor

still has not been named. It is said that no-one wishes to assume such extremely delicate duties (but such allegations are hard to believe). A rogue state, that is the state weighted down with large-scale organised crimes still does not have a Proseuctor Overall situation is getting worse, but only few are trying to improve it. Majority of politicians are anxiously waiting for -foreign donations. Overall picture of chaos is completed by irresponsible conduct of NGOs, which close a blind eye to passivity and misuse of power by authorities. Manner of appointment of the new Radio Television Serbia's Director caused public outrage. Added to that party loyalists, and not experts, are once again appointed to top positions in all many important spheres of life. Because of poor performances of authorities, this fall major social turmoil, even new elections can be expected.

We rendered legal assistance to several hundred persons, mostly refugees and RS citizens from all parts of the country. We provided legal counselling to about 500 persons and complete legal protection to 41 clients.

According to the structure of cases, they can be thus categorised:

Citizens of the Republic of Serbia

-cases related to work of courts of law (prison terms and conditions, convictions, proceedings, death sentence-12), labour disputes/lawsuits (3), social cases (3), discrimination (4), author's rights/royalties , threats, persecution, documents, poor access to information .


including displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija; documents, re-settlement, mobilisation, pensions, wards.

legal assistance within the "I want to go home" project

In the aforementioned period we extended legal counselling to 480 persons, that is wrote 126 applications for the issue of travel documents on the basis of subsequent entry in Croat citizenship books, issued 858 travel documents, and filled in 337 applications for a subsequent entry in the Republic of Croatia citizenship books.

Lawyers' assistance

Damage compensation lawsuit/ proceedings against the Serbian Ministry of Interior (on charges of refugees) before the First Municipal

l Court in Belgrade

-Smoljanovic M- hearing postponed indefinitely

-Manojlovic M.- ruling passed, its writing pending

-Radojcic Lj. -hearing scheduled for 14 November 2001

-Radojcic D.-hearing postponed indefinitely

-Brakus B.-hearing scheduled for 22 October 2001

-Kurepa Z.-hearing postponed indefinitely

-Dabic I-ruling passed, its writing pending

-Plecaš B- next hearing on 2 November 2001

legal proceedings related to cases 82, 112, 95, 48, 29, 28, 47, 84, 40, 117, 30, 26, 107, 89, 71, 108, 66, 122, 92, 18, 50, 60, 95, 62 are still under way.

We received 19 judgements following the appellate proceedings. Appellate proceedings in 14 cases are still under way.
-Labour lawsuit, Second Municipal Court in Belgrade, Stevan Žakula versus Company "Beograd-Sigurnost". Proceedings ended on 13 July 2001, judgement pending.
-Eviction case, FRY versus Cajka Pavle, 18 September hearing adjourned due to appointment of a new trial chamber.
-Šijan M against the FRY, damage compensation case, the Second Municipal Court in Belgrade, hearing re-scheduled for 6 December 2001
-Eviction case of Spahija Isljam, the First Municipal Court in Belgrade passed judgement on 26 September 2001.
-Municipal Court in Pancevo, criminal proceedings, Veselko Kurtovic charged with inflicting grievous bodily injuries to another person, documents seen on 28 September 2001.
Municipal Court in Belgrade, K-1784/79, Vid Trninic convicted. Relevant documents reviewed, proposal made that criminal proceedings be reviewed by joinder of sentences. Outstanding legal remedy also suggested- the competent court appealed to mitigate the sentence.
-Gradimir Glogovac -application made for recognition of military pension insurance rights, talks completed in the Supreme Military Court and the Fund for Social Insurance of Servicemen.
-Jevrosimka Trailovic, labour lawsuit brought against her company.
-Dragoslav Petrovic, documents related to the administrative (housing) lawsuit reviewed, appeal made to the Supreme Court.
-Ljubiša Vranovic, insight into the case made us conclude that the death sentence passed by the court was in keeping with the RS law.
-Desanka Petrovic- lawsuit relating to sick leave compensation.
-Mladen Grujovic, appeal to the District Court in Sremska Mitrovica, Gž. No. 1130/2000. Helsinki Committee lawyer took on to represent the party before the Fifth Municipal Court in a real estate lawsuit.
-Case Obradovic Marijana and others against the Faculty of Visual Arts in Belgrade, the First Municipal Court, compensatory damage lawsuit filed on 8 May 2001, received by the judge on 30 July 2001. Hearing pending.
-Divorce and children custody proceedings before the Šid court, Dražic Sanja versus her husband Dražic Dragan, mixed marriage. Contacts kept through the Centre for Social Work, debate pending.
-Džido Cedomir and others against the Belgrade Water Supply Company, lawsuit relating to review of decision on the use of flat, Third Municipal Court, proceedings under way.
-Biljana Dokanovic against the Faculty of Visual Arts in Belgrade, compensatory damage lawsuit.
-Bojana Tedic and Veljko Durdevic versus Ministry of Education, administrative dispute case handled by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Serbia.
-Slavica Davidovic Cuk against Jugobanka, lawsuit relating to an lawful decision on the use of flat, case handled by the Third Municipal Court.


New republican and federal laws (1 July-30 September 2001)

Republican provisions

Review of documents related to the work of the Serbian and the FRY Parliament indicates a conspicuous trend of ruling through decrees instead of laws. At several sessions not a single law was debated, but only decrees, rules and rules of procedure were adopted.

At the seventh, regular session of the Republican Parliament held on 10 July 2001 the following legal act was passed

1. Law on State Holidays in the Republic of Serbia (Offic. Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 43 of 17 July 2001), enters force within eight days from its publishing.

The law regulates the matter of state holidays in Serbia. New holidays are: Sretenje, the national day of Serbia, on 15th February, religious holidays, the first day of Orthodox Christmas, Easter Holidays. Article 4 of the law foresees religious holidays for members of other denominations, all other parts of law are related to orthodox religious holidays, namely Saint Sava Day, day of spirituality, Vidovdan-remembrance day of the Kosovo battle. There is a disturbing aspect to all these laws, all religious holidays are related to the spiritual legacy of Serbs, but not to those of other ethnic communities living in Serbia. We don't know how the Hungarian minority shall celebrate Saint Sava as their spiritual leader!?

At the same session of the Republican parliament the following legal act was passed:

Law on amendments to the Act on Construction of Houses and other Facilities

The law deals with irregular construction and sanctions thereof. A three-year prison term and high fines are envisaged for those who start building houses or other facilities without previously obtaining the building licence.

Such provisions were much-needed in view of uncontrolled and unlawful construction activities countrywide.

On the basis of Article 33 of the Privatisation Act government of the Republic of Serbia passed three important decrees:

Decree on the sale of capital and property by a public tender, pursuant to Article 24 of the same act the Decree on Methodology for Evaluation of Value of Capital and Property. On the basis of article 40 of the same act the Decree on Sale of Capital and Property by Public Competition was passed.

Results of enforcement of those provisions shall indicate how well the matter, which should have been covered by laws, was regulated by the said decrees. (Off. Gazett. No. 45 of 20 July 2001)

Pursuant to Article 2 of the Act on Government of the Republic of Serbia, the government passed:

Decree on conditions and manner of evaluation of public revenues, contents and registration of commodities trade from the AP Kosovo and Metohija

The decree deals with foreign (imported) goods sent to the territory of the AP Kosovo and Metohija and domestic trade. (Off. Gazett. No.48 of 6 August 2001)

At the eighth regular session of the Serbian Parliament, on 20 September 2001, the following legal act was passed:

Decision on repeal of decision on dismissal of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Serbia judge (Slobodan Vuttiĩ This parliamentary decision finally resolved the issue of unlawful dismissal of a number of judges, and their reinstatement. At the same session the Serbian Parliament passed a number of decisions on appointment of several judges and prosecutors. (Off. Gazett. No. 56 of 21 September 2001)

The legislative activity of the Serbian Parliament in the past three months was mainly geared towards passing of decrees, decisions and similar acts, which can be justified by rare sessions and summer holidays season.

Federal provisions

There is a very chaotic situation in the province of federal legislature, namely passing and enforcement of federal legal provisions.

Pursuant to Article 6, paragraph 6 of the Act on Foreign Affairs, the federal government passed two decisions:

Decision on opening of the FRY Embassy in the Republic of Slovenia and of the FRY Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

These decisions signify new steps in further betterment of relations between republics of the former Yugoslavia. (Off. Gazett. Of the FRY no. 36 of 6 July 2001)

Federal Assembly at the session of its Lower and Upper House on 24 July 2001 passed the following legal acts:

Law on Amendments of the Act on the Basis of Fiscal System

The 1996 Act has been already amended in 1997, 1998 and 1997. The latest series of amendments indicate that a thoroughly new law should be passed.

At the same session Decision on the choice of president and members of federal government (Off. Gazett. No. 40 of 24 July 2001) was passed.

Federal Parliament, at the session of both Houses, passed:

Decision on appointment of judges of the Federal Constitutional Court

Four new judges were appointed. (Off. Gazett. No. 48 of 7 September 2001)

On 22 June 2001 the FRY Parliament passed the Law on Funds for Accommodation of Internally Displaced Persons in the FRY territory in 2001. The Act is valid for the whole year, although it was enforced only on 21 September when the federal government passed

Decision on Program for the Refugee Accommodation Centres in the territory of the FRY, in 2001 ( Off. Gazett. No. 51, of 21 September 2001)

The program was adopted only formally as there wasn't enough time to achieve the set goals by the end of the year. Choice of locations for permanent accommodation of internally displaced persons is indicative of the current Serbian policy on Kosovo: namely all locations are in the areas bordering with Kosovo and Metohija.


Federal Parliament at the session of the Lower House (27 September 2001) passed

Law on Prevention of Money Laundering

This law deals with actions and measures undertaken to uncover and prevent money laundering. All the envisaged measures are in line with the pertinent international ones. (Off. Gazett. Of the FRY no. 53 of 28 September 2001)

At the same parliamentary session the following legal acts were passed:

Law on amendments of the Federal Budget Act for 2001

Law on amendments to the Act on Recovery, Bankruptcy or Liquidation of banks

Law on amendments to the Act on the Federal Agency for Insurance of Deposits and Recovery of Banks

Law on manner of indebtedness of the FRY with the EU

Under the aforementioned law the matter of EURO 225 million loan for repayment of matured obligations of Yugoslav companies with the European Investment Bank was regulated.

Law on amendments on the Act on settling obligations regarding the foreign currency savings of citizens

Law on donations and humanitarian assistance

At the same sessions several laws ratifying international documents were passed.

Law on certification of agreement on guarantees between the FRY and the European Investment Bank

Law on certification of agreement on guarantees for the project of urgent overhaul of power-generating industry) between the FRY/the Republic of Serbia and the IBRD/International Development Association.

Law on certification of agreement between the Popular Bank of Switzerland and the National Bank of the FRY with annexes

Law on certification of agreement between the EU as creditor, the FRY as loan-taker and the National Bank of Yugoslavia as a representatives of the latter, with annexes.

Nature of the aforementioned federal provisions indicates that the federal administration engages in marginal matter and only feigns its existence. The fact is that it has very little authority and reach. Moreover the fact that one part of the state is not duty- bound to enforce those provisions speaks of continuing political games in disguise of legal norms.



What is immediately evident is the fact that the state and its bodies were thwarted in their attempts to pass a host of important legal documents by the circumstances and opposition (composed of parties which brought ruin to this society) alike. Notwithstanding many bills were put forward, notably the Bill on Courts of Law and Judges. They were also discussed at various levels, and assessed by experts. The said bill was drafted by the Justice and Local Self- Rule Ministry. Suggested reforms sound good, but one wonders if they could be put in place.

An independent group of experts put forward proposals for new constitutionals solution of the FRY and Serbia. Those proposals were also publicly discussed. Serious objections were voiced notably "constitutional bills don't mirror the reality in Serbia and the FRY, but engage in suggesting solutions similar to the ones in place in other countries." But legislative bodies disregard such proposals. Both the Radical Party and DOS (more interested in establishing new relations within the coalition) are obstructing the work of the Serbian Parliament. Winds of change notably the prospects of the market economy don't appeal to a vast majority of citizens who are not used to hard work and discipline. The fact that reforms and privatisation shall affect life of population at large, and that poverty shall impact many strata instead of being uprooted, is not welcome. Due to large-scale devastation of the system, its reconstruction shall be long and slow. But the FRY has not choice, it has to embark upon the process of transition or it shall remain on the margins of the modern world.

As regards elections in Kosovo and Metohija, legitimacy of international community is once again called into question and a mirage is created that the Serbian authorities should decide on participation of Kosovar Serbs in the forthcoming elections. In other words DOS is depicted as a legitimate guardian of their rights. It is not the first time that irresponsible authorities are using the misfortune of refugees and displaced persons to score political points. But the policy of the federal, that is republican government towards Kosovo is still not clear. All in all problems are accumulating, and only few are currently being tackled.

Work of judiciary bodies

There are not many changes in this important area. Judges and prosecutors are replaced very slowly and the Public Prosecutor is yet to be appointed. Everyone is waiting for the new law to regulate that area. In the meantime even the old one is not being enforced. Although many responsible individuals have been named presiding judges in Belgrade, in the interior there are still many judicial hold-overs from the old regime. Moreover it is necessary that all the judges who have engaged in misuses of their functions be criminally prosecuted. Also many cases which they have handled require immediate review. Mishandling of many trials and lawsuits by those corrupt and irresponsible judges affected many parties, who now aspire to some kind of subsequent justice. It would be good to lay emphasis on making many rulings and sentences final. Many proceedings are still protracted, and even those which require fast solutions last up to five years.

Labour dispute -6 RTS employees against the Radio Television Serbia- began in January 1993. 6 employees brought a lawsuit on grounds of their unlawful dismissal, and banned entry into RTS building.

At the last hearing held on 21 December 2000 "the new RTS" maintained that those workers were not persecuted on political grounds, but were legally dismissed as "economic surplus". RTS is not willing to reinstate those journalists. The said journalists have been out of work for 9 years, their professionals rights have been violated because they proved to be incorruptiblle.

Dragan Todorovic from Cacak brought a compensatory damage lawsuit against "Politika." (case no. 2634/2000). He demands compensation for being unlawfully dismissed by the publishing house and having been subjected to all kinds of abuses. Presiding judge is Jasna Lozuk, and Zdenko Tomanovic a lawyer who represent the claimant.

Currently Todorovic's family does not have any means of sustenance. Its chances to win this case are very slim.

M.M. from Belgrade , former employee of the Serbian Ministry of Interior was criminally prosecuted for the criminal offence of receiving and giving kickbacks under Article 254 paragraph 2 of the Penal Code of Serbia. Despite the lack of evidence, he was sentenced to eight months in prison, conditionally 3 years.

In late 2000 our party appealed to the competent court to review the proceedings, but has not received response to date.

This case also ranks among the body of unlawful decisions which are not likely to be reviewed. It is very likely that tens of thousands of 'sentences' shall not be reviewed because of official justification that "all the legal means and remedies have been exhausted." Intervention in that direction is necessary, but no-one knows who shall tackle this serious job and embark upon righting the wrongs and abuses committed by many judges and courts under pressure of mighty individuals.

Prisons in Serbia

This is a taboo topic in this country because of the deep-seated belief that after arrest and conviction prisoners cease to be considered human beings, and also because of misuses or use of force by the prison wardens, guards and notably prison administration (restricted rights to family visits, choice of attorney, annual leaves, free weekends, early release). According to prisoners' testimonies corruption is rife in many prisons. Everything can be bought and sold irrespective of provisions of the Act on Enforcement on Criminal Sanctions and House Rules determined by Penitentiary and Juvenile Remand Centres. Prison conditions are very difficult: hygiene is at a very low level and food is below prescribed standards. Such a treatment is in blatant contravention of European Prison Rules and Standards. Aside from financial assistance, conduct of prison officials must be improved and a stricter control of treatment of prisoners must be established.

Dragan TodoroviĬ a convict serving sentence in the Sremska Mitrovica penitentiary with his attorney tried to have his case reviewed on grounds of many illegalities and omissions committed during the first trial. But the problem emerged when the prison authorities limited his contacts with his attorney and reduced them to the number of visits usually allowed to family members.

Under the Law on Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions visits of attorneys are not limited. The reply which Helsinki Committee received from the competent body confirmed the legal framework, but did not propose that the prison authorities in question be advised to act as the law prescribes and stop engaging in arbitrary interpretations of house rules.

Sindelic Dragoslav, also a convict in the Sremska Mitrovica penitentiary complained about abuses of house rules and prison conditions. His good conduct did not entail the envisaged reward in the shape of lighter treatment. So-called categorisation of prisoners is an area in which most misuses are committed. Prison regime mostly depends on good-will of authorised educators and prison administrators and not on the real state of affairs in prison. Our client was deprived of his right to attorney and family visits, his right to the legal vehicle of conditional discharge. He moreover maintains that his rights continue to be abused because his claims and demands are not taken into consideration.

One of the salient problems is lack of medical treatment, or obstructions and limitations thereof in many prisons.

Ward of the Belgrade Juvenile Centre Milena N. was raped one night by the Acting Director of the Centre. The case was reported to the Incest Trauma Centre which together with Helsinki Committee managed to have him dismissed. The said rapist in the future shall not be allowed contacts with children and is banned from working in social institutions.

Death penalty

Public opinion is divided over this penalty, many oppose, but many also advocate it. Death penalty is envisaged under legal documents of the Republic of Serbia. It has been also enforced on a number of occasions. Federal legal acts don't foresee this punishment. This disharmony causes uncertainty among the accused and their defence counsels. It is expected that the death penalty would be abolished and replaced by a 40-year prison term at the republican level. Then the FRY shall joint the ranks of countries repudiating this legal measure.

Ljubiša Vrbanovic was sentenced to death. He is a convict in the Sremska Mitrovica Penitentiary. He disagrees with the sentence which was confirmed and justified by the Supreme Court of Serbia. According to experts the sentence was meted out in accordance with law.

If the death penalty is abolished, then the sentence delivered to our client shall be probably commuted to 40 years in prison.

Discrimination (national, political, sexual)

Different discriminations stem from different situations. National discrimination is recognised in labour and real estate lawsuits. Discriminations on other grounds are underlying reasons of majority of lawsuits, complaints of claims.

Association of Romany, on behalf of 60 tenants of Zvešnska no. 9 building in Belgrade, informed us that they are being evicted from the building on grounds of their 'illegal usurpation of a housing block." Municipality of Savski Venac decided to evict those persons in view of their non-possession n of relevant residence documents.

Eviction of squatters usually does not cause reactions, but in view of a large number of illegally built palatial houses by members of the former regime it is clear that authorities, that is, owners of such houses, in a bid to protect their property, are enforcing elements of the legal state against the weaker ones, those who are not in the position to defend themselves. This situation has elements of both social and national discrimination (evictees are mostly Romany who usually don't have sustainable means of livelihood.)

Asani Sabri, an Albanian from Belgrade, the FRY citizen, is employed in "Hidrotehnika-Belgrade" since 1963. Until 20 March 2001 he was head of a construction site in line with his education, that is, qualifications. His problems started in early 2001, after the appointment of a new director. According to testimonies that director immediately began inquiring about Asani, and shortly afterwards dismissed him on grounds of "abuse of his position."

Later Asani was transferred to Montenegro in the capacity of a construction site guard. He is currently on a sick leave.

Harassment of members of minorities, notably Albanians, is commonplace Such incidents are now characterised as retaliation against Kosovo developments. Prejudices are rife, as Albanians can only be cleaners or guards. This is in a sense a throwback to apartheid.

N.B. from Belgrade learnt that her former husband sexually molested their underage daughter during her visits to his house. Principal witness was their son, who was present during harassment.

N.B. does not know what to do, she is afraid that if she starts divorce proceedings things shall only get worse. At the same time she wants the incest-prone father to be criminally prosecuted and punished. This case amply indicates the depth of patriarchal roots and prejudices, and also poor education. By and large women are still a vulnerable and underprivileged group in this country.

Anka Gracijana Boka, a Romanian by descent, is a FRY citizen. She retired early because of harassment at work. She worked as a professor of French language. Her family was also harassed and maltreated. Furthermore she was cheated out of her downtown flat and had to move to a less comfortable and smaller one. Court of law failed to protect her rights in the face of blatant offences committed against her. Moreover her lawyers charged her for their services an exorbitant sum of money.

Minorities members are often discriminated by their 'majority people' n neighbours. They often succumb to threats and extortions because of their precarious legal status.

Zvezdan Mancic from Belgrade is a free-lance photo-journalist. Opposition parties and NGOs decline to pay him for his photographs they have unlawfully used during the 2000 electoral campaign. As no agreement is in sight, Mancic decided to take the matter to the court, in order to have some damage compensation.

The area of author's rights has not been regulated properly and courts of law don't pay proper at tention to such cases.



Some refugee-related problems, notably the issue of documents, transit and other visas, etc have been resolved in a satisfactory way. But there are still many psychological hindrances in place.Stories are spread about precarious conditions of life in domicile states, and such bad news affect refugees' decisions on return. Moreover the will for return is slackening after almost ten years in exile. Under way is registration of Croatian refugees whose houses are to be repaired or reconstructed.. Consular Offices of the Republic of Croatia receive all applications, submitted in person or via proxy in the FRY and forward them to competent bodies in Croatia. Deadline for submitting applications is 31 December 2001. Commissariat for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia is again engaging in census-taking (for the umpteenth time) of flats/houses which were seized from refugees. In their mind that census shall bring pressure to bear on authorities in Croatia and international community to reinstate tenancy rights to their 'owners'. It is not likely that this census shall produce any outstanding results, as it is much-delayed and furthermore a political will, like the one in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is needed to bring about major changes in this regard. In the meantime refugees need assistance in resolution of their basic needs and rights, notably regarding the pension rights.

Pensions Stojanka Majher from Majher from Cepin, with temporary residence in the FRY, was stripped of her right to family pension. Pension Insurance from Osijek denies her pension as her husband was engaged by the Yugoslav Army. Our client lodged a complaint, but has not received any answer to date. We asked the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights to intervene, and it did. Answer from a competent republican institution is expected shortly.

This is not an unusual treatment. Officials in Croatia and B&H still avoid to resolve some cases because of ethnicity of claimants. We expect improvement in this area and also ratification of pertinent bilateral agreements.


Radojka Trkulja from Virovitica, resident in Bosnia and Herzegovina, could not marry her live-in partner, with whom she has three children. Namely they did not have enough money to go to B&H to take a copy of birth certificate, and authorised bodies in that country did not want to mail it to her.

But we solved this problem through several organisations dealing with such issues. Radojka Trkulja can finally marry and give legitimacy to her children.

This is a happy-end example which also indicates improvement in the said area. Added to that arbitrary conduct of official bodies in Croatia and B&H is on the wan ne, and hence there is less need for such interventions.

Veselin Karaljic from Prizren, a displaced person in the FRY, wants to visit his house, which had been torched. This is a difficult problem, in view of limited movement in Kosovo and Metohija, and the need for the KFOR escort from the border to Prizren and vice versa.

Authorities in Belgrade and Priština shall have to resolve the issue of visits of refugees and displaced persons to their houses. Currently situation in this regard is similar to the one in Croatia, at the outset of the return process.

Social issues

Stanko TodiĠ from Rijeka, in 1992 fled to the FRY. He was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the FRY he had a refugee status, and he was mobilised that same year by the Yugoslav Army and taken to Bosnia. He became mentally unstable after that battlefield experience. He was hospitalised during his leave in Belgrade. Currently no-one is interested in him and his case. The YA is washing its hands of him, and he has no relatives in Bosnia.

Stanko TodiĠobviously needs an invalid pension, but he does not fill the requirements for it, nor has good connections to help him get any kind of assistance. And as a sick man he cannot get a regular job.

Jovan PaaũĠfrom Karlovac, currently a refugee in the FRY, to help his family emigrate, engaged in some shady deals. Namely he was ripped off by Bora Lonšr, originally from Karlovac, and currently a resident in Canada. Lonšr promised PaaũĠCanadian immigration papers in exchange for a hefty amount of money. That transaction was completed through an unauthorised agency in Belgrade. In January 2001 he was invited for interview, and two months later the Canadian Embassy rejected his application. Lonšr then advised PaaũĠto appeal the decision. But the appeal was also rejected. And now Lonšr does not want to return the money, despite failing to deliver on the deal.

Several similar cases were reported. Refugees and displaced persons over-eager to emigrate, and gullible because of strong wish to get out of their predicament are an easy prey for crooks.

Underage M.D. from Vrbas, fled from Croatia together with her parents who later died in an accident in the FRY. The child, a refugee, was put in the care of her paternal uncle, a resident in the FRY. The girl is attending school in Vrbas, but her aunt in Croatia wants the child to return to Croatia and live with her.

The case was solved in the following way: the child shall complete this school-year in the FRY, and when her uncle obtains the necessary Croatian documents, she will visit her aunt in Croatia, to get adjusted to her future life there. The Croatian Embassy in Belgrade helped us resolve this problem.

Prepared by,
Biljana Stanojevic


In the territory of the FRY three laws are regulating the matter of Public Prosecutor, namely the Act on Federal State Prosecutor, Act on Public Prosecutions and Act on the State Prosecutor of Montenegro. The first act , adopted in 1992 is a republican act related to prosecutors working within the judicial system of Serbia. The Republican Public Prosecutor, District Public Prosecutor and Municipal Public Prosecutor discharge the functions of public prosecution. All those judicial officials are appointed and dismissed by the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia. Under the said law the Republican Public Prosecutor brings charges against perpetrators of criminal and commercial offences. He also institutes proceedings for assessment of constitutionality of laws and legality of other provisions. (there is only the Acting Republican Prosecutor, as the Republican Public Prosecutor has not been appointed yet.) The Act on the Federal Public Prosecutor was adopted in 1992. The FPP can bring charges against alleged perpetrators in member-republics, if the offence in question is regulated under federal laws. He has four deputies elected the by federal parliament. It is obvious that under the current legal conditions in the FRY, powers of the public prosecutor may be misused. The Federal State Prosecutor has not yet been named. Under the 1993 Act on the State Prosecutor of Montenegro, he is accountable to the Montenegrin Parliament.





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