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INFO   :::  Human Rights > Legal Aid > Legal Assistance Report (1 October - 31 December 2000)


Legal Assistance Report
(1 October - 31 December 2000)

08/17/2002, Source: Legal Assistance Report (1 Oct - 31 Dec 2000), Author: HCHRS


The last quarter of the year 2000 was marked by the "dismantling" of the old regime and creation of prerequisites for the peaceful transformation of the Serbian society. Groundwork was laid for the reform of society, while thanks to a relative 'liberation' of the media some old issues, put on the back burner during the last repressive stages of Miloševic's regime, have begun to be tackled.

Many long-standing problems, stemming from a long rule of an undemocratic regime, have been laid bare. The issue of violations of fundamental human rights has been also brought into prominence.

The most visible consequences of long Miloševic's misrule are in the spheres of economy and social welfare. A decade-long plundering of the state and destruction of institutions resulted in across-the-board pauperisation and total depletion of funds of institutions tasked with taking care of the most threatened and vulnerable population groups. Such institutions are barely functioning.

There are a lot of irregularities in the work of the judicial bodies and the law enforcement agencies (police). As the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry exert control over the freedom of citizens and their physical integrity, one can imagine how hard hit by those irregularities were citizens at large.

Of great concern is the situation in spheres of education, notably in the higher education institutions, the mass media and minority rights.

After the regime-orchestrated rigging of the presidential and local election results on 24 September 2000, the DOS-spearheaded demonstrations led to a peaceful replacement of the authorities.

In a sign of protest against the electoral fraud a general strike was also staged in Serbia.

DOS appealed to the Supreme Court of Serbia against the decision of the Federal Electoral Commission, but lost that court appeal on 4 October 2000.

Nebojša Simeunovic, the Belgrade District Court magistrate rejected application for detention of Nebojša Covic and miners of the Kolubara miners who spearheaded the general strike. The case was then transferred to a more 'obedient judge' Nebojša Živkovic.

Subsequent violent death by drowning of judge Simeunovic was probably connected to his (mis)conduct during the pre-coup developments.

On 5 October 2000 a massive rally led to the ousting of the old regime. That development is yet to be analysed by various experts, politicologists, etc. When they disclose their findings we shall know the true nature of those events, that is if the 'ouster' was a revolution or a bloodless coup.

5 October ushered in a transition process, or the one of all-embracing democratic changes leading to the creation of the post-Miloševic Serbia, opening up of the state, its integration into Europe and the whole world, and marked a clean break with the previous authoritarian practice.

But the period covered by this report was also marked a major power vacuum in the sphere of the republican authorities. In fact in the interregnum period, three co-ministers ran all the republican ministries (chosen from the ranks of the DOS, SPS, and the SRM). This in turn stalled reforms in the judiciary and police, and replacements in all structures of power. By extension fundamental human rights and freedoms are still not protected in a satisfactory way.

In fact courts of law in Serbia still cannot carry out their primary tasks and provide for full protection and equality of individuals before the law.

All the aforementioned developments and situation in the country had their impact on the structure of cases and complaints we dealt with.

The number of cases processed by our legal assistance department in the year 2000 was up by 20% compared to the last year (1999). This indicates a rampant repression prior to the 5 October events and total disarray in the legal sphere in Serbia.

Liberation from the state terror embodied in President Slobodan Miloševic infused new hopes into many Serbian citizens, notably those who believed that now it would be possible to right many previous wrongs. But lawlessness is still widespread: there are tens of thousands of employees who had been sacked for mounting resistance to the regime, or being members of the opposition parties, private property of citizens was usurped in different ways, usurpation of property of the former SFRY republics, status of professors and other educational professionals of the Belgrade University, privatisation of the media, revision of privatisation of companies and institutions effected to date, suspension of discriminatory decisions against those who did not want to "defend" their country, political convicts and passing of the Amnesty Act, issue of redefinition of relations with Montenegro and open issue of status of Kosovo and Metohija, constitutional reforms and reforms of all the state bodies, reorganisation of courts of law, prosecutors' offices, and the police (both Interior Ministries), adoption of a number of laws, notably the NGO ACT, public and open insistence on owning up of the war-time guilt and criminality produced by the war-time events, full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. The most difficult task shall be the rooting out of corruption, as the society at large and state bodies which should fight against it are in fact steeped in corruption.

Several hundred persons turned to the Legal Assistance department of HC for help. Most of them sought legal counselling. Added to that we provided full legal protection to 46 persons.

According to their structure our cases fall into several categories:

(a) the FRY citizens- war crimes (4) cases, judicial lawsuits (5) cases, political convicts (3) cases, misuse of the police prerogatives (2) cases, imprisoned, property, financial compensations lawsuits, police and other harassment, education-related cases.

(b) refugees from the Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija, reconstruction and recovery, war crimes, missing.

(c) legal assistance within the framework of project "Hocu kuci" deals with provision of travel documents for refuges from the Republic of Croatia, and other documents related to their return to their domicile state. In the period covered by this report 830 travel documents were processed, legal counselling was provided to 767 persons, and 820 persons received information by phone.

(d) foreigners in the FRY, convicts in the FRY (4 Cases) offences, documents, inheritance lawsuits, and legal counselling.

(e) lawyers assistance

In the period covered by this report our lawyers handled the following cases:
-91 appearances before the First Municipal Court as attorneys in cases related to damage compensation to illegally mobilised persons in the wake of "Storm" offensive, and in proceedings against the Serbian police. 130 damage compensation complaints; 7 first-instance decisions in favour of our clients, and compensation amounts ranged between 10,000-200,000 dinars). After appealing 6 decisions were suspended and would be reviewed, one decision was changed from 40,000 to 20,000 dinars damage compensation, but that decision was appealed too. In 20 cases the first-instance proceedings were finalised, but the rulings were not submitted to the parties in the lawsuits.
- investigative proceedings before the Priština District Court (its new seat is in Niš) for the criminal offence of espionage were instituted against the indictee Damir Colaric. Decision on extension of detention was appealed, the Niš penitentiary was visited , and relevant documents reviewed.
- criminal proceedings before the Niš Military Court-indictee Probojcevic Miroslav. Hearings took place on 5 December and 21 December 2000, the last one was postponed and scheduled for 15 January 2001. Charged with criminal offence of disclosure of state secrets under the FRY Penal Code Article 129, forgery of documents under the Serbian Penal Code, Article 233, paragraph 3, and criminal offence of attack on the military official on duty under the FRY Penal Code, Article 206, paragraph 1.
- lawsuit proceedings-labour disputes, 1 December 2000, the First Municipal Court.
- lawsuit filed by Miroslav Virovkic and others from the Foreign Affairs Ministry against the FRY, 7 December 2000, hearing postponed for 10 April 2001.
- the Second Municipal Court- lawsuit filed by Žakula Stevan against company "Belgrade Sigurnost", labour dispute, the first-instance court ruling passed and then suspended after the HC lawyer's appeal, the case returned to the first instance court for review.



Changes which commenced in Serbia on 5 October 2000 affected in different ways the refugee population. The number of refugees, our clients, has dwindled, which indicates that they are infused with new hopes about possible normalisation of relations with their domicile states and future, easier solutions of their problems.

But in actual fact there was no major breakthrough in the relations between Serbia and Croatia in the wake of Miloševic's ouster. On the other hand the FRY has recognised the Federation of B&H, which could facilitate the return of refugees to this state. But obstructions to more massive return can be also expected.

We have been dealing with documents and pensions of refugees. Added to that some cases related to possible commission of crimes in the refugee columns during the "Storm" operation, have also emerged.

a) Crimes and missing

Authorities in the countries where missing persons are possibly held in captivity do not invest enough energy into 'finding' such persons, or to put it bluntly are not interested in disclosing their fate. Hence families of the missing often face the official wall of silence and disinterest. It is necessary to encourage the relevant authorities in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia to actively and systematically tackle this problem.

Ankica Sikirica, refugee from the Republic of Croatia, municipality Slulj, village Veljun, Kordun, is the mother of the late Ljubomir Sikarica, born in 1965. Ljubomir Sikarica was killed in the refugee column heading for Serbia, on 7 August 1995, in the vicinity of localities Grmuša and Rujevc. His mother stated that the column was caught in the cross-fire and that many refugees, including her son, then perished. As the column moved on, mother Ankica had to leave her son's body in the field. Later she contacted different political and other bodies in a bid to learn where her son was buried. But the government commission for missing and prisoners of war had no information on the burial site of Ljubomir Sikirica.

It is necessary to set up a commission which would finally put in order all the lists and testimonies and use them as a relevant material leading to discovery of the mass graves or burial sites.

b) Documents

Many years have passed since the end of the war and re-establishment of diplomatic ties, but the new authorities are still not operating in line with the newly-established principles. The state employees still arbitrarily, or on somebody's orders, obstruct the issue of documents which refugees from the former YU republics need.

Duro Brdar from Benkovac, is currently residing in Paracin. He was granted the FRY citizenship. But the problem cropped up when he tried to obtain a new driving licence. He submitted the certificate of the passed driving exam from Benkovac, but the Serb police refused to issue him a new license. It is obvious that the Serb police were ignorant about their mandatory duty to issue the required document on the basis of the previous one obtained in Croatia.

HC requested the Serbian Interior Ministry to inform the relevant police department that they were duty-bound to implement the Agreement on the International Legal Assistance, signed by the FRY and the Republic of Croatia.

Despite current difficulties in meeting the refugee needs, it seems that the resolution of their problems shall be promptly institutionalised, that is dealt with in a more efficient way. But full monitoring in this regard shall be needed in the future.



The last quarter of the year 2000, contrary to other periods, was marked by some optimistic signs. Many people whose rights were grossly violated in the past took note of the changes which began on 5 October 2000. But in October we registered a small number of new cases. This was probably due to the conviction of many people that the new authorities would quickly solve all their problems. After initial euphoria due to installation of the new authorities, and full emergence of long-repressed problems in November and December we faced a large number of cases. This attested to the fact that citizens expected that the DOS would resolve quickly their problems and that the full dispensation of justice would be soon in place.

But the new authorities partly due to a host of accumulated problems, and partly to subjective weaknesses cannot immediately live up to all those expectations. What has in fact happened in Serbia was loss of fear and apparent establishment of order. But three months after the coup the system institutions are yet to start functioning properly. The judiciary is yet to be 'cleansed' and reorganised (that will be probably the first task of the new authorities), anti-corruption and anti-organised crime campaigns are yet to be launched, social situation is getting worse, there are power shortages and blackouts, educational system is in tatters, recent prison uprising orchestrated by the former authorities laid bare terrible prison conditions, criminals are yet to be brought to justice, unemployment is high, trade-unions paralysed, and many media still continue the old practice of currying favour with the authorities through an uncritical coverage of their activities . But one must hope that the new authorities would muster up courage and strength to overcome the old models and patterns of rule, for continuation of the old practice would be fatal for the state and its population.

a) Prisons

The previous regime very often resorted to putting in prison its opponents or eliminating them from the public life. People disappeared and re-appeared at the whim of their 'masters' or heads of police and prisons. Recently the existence of private prisons for the "incompatible" citizens was disclosed. The police had sweeping powers, was often involved in illegal actions and had ties with the underworld. It is not realistic to expect radical changes in those areas immediately, but some major ones shall be introduced promptly.

While dealing with the fate and legal problems of the political convict Flora Brovina (who was released after the installation of the new authorities, that is, was pardoned by the FRY President) we found in Požarevac prison a young Albanian Aferdita Zekaj, who has been detained since 8 December 1998. Aferdita Zekaj was a "forgotten" detainee, and as such represents a unique phenomenon in the history of unlawful detention.

In fact on 3 August 1999 she and four other persons were charged with the criminal offence of associating for committing hostile activities under the FRY Penal Code, Article 136, and with the criminal offence of terrorism under the FRY Penal Code, Article 125. It was quoted in the indictment that she and two other persons were at large. One of the indictees was Ljuši Naim who was convicted in absentia to 13 years in prison. But suddenly the judicial bodied found out that Aferdita Zekaj was not at large, but in detention. Two years after her arrest, that is since May 2000 her detention was extended. The last decision on extension of detention dated 20 October 2000 was appealed, but Supreme Court ruling is still pending. In accordance with the Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Amnesty Act, an application for the exemption of Aferdita Zekaj from criminal prosecution was lodged. But HC has not yet received a response from the competent authorities.

Aferdita Zekaj, like many other Albanian convicts was unlawfully detained and tried. The Amnesty Act is yet to be passed. Obviously the current authorities have not agreed about offences which should be subject to amnesty. It was however leaked that the proposal was afoot to swap Albanian convicts in Serbian prisons for Serbs imprisoned in Kosovo and Metohija, but that proposal obviously did not receive enough backing. Rumours are circulating among jurist circles that the amnesty would cover offences of association for committing hostile acts, but not those persons charged with and convicted of the criminal offences of terrorism.

At the same time Serbs were tried in the UNMIK-controlled area Serbs. Serb indictees have been mostly charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Trials were held in a lynch-like atmosphere, hence one suspects their fairness. Five-member trial chambers (one foreign and four domestic judges) conduct those trials in Albanian language. Evidence is often obtained during investigative proceedings conducted by the police. Confessions are often extorted, and it is difficult to retract them at a later stage. Defence counsels from Serbia are not willing to take such cases, because travelling to Kosovo and Metohija is still not safe. Most evidence has been destroyed, hence court can rely only on testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.

Proceedings against five Serbs, imprisoned in the Uroševac base "Bondsteel" have been instituted by the Gnjilane District Court.

Detainees are: Jokic Miloš, born in 1979, Vitina, arrested on 26 August 1999, sentenced to 20 years in prison by the first-instance court ruling;

Dragan Nikolic, born in 1960, Vitina, arrested on 3 August 1999, sentenced to 12.5 years in prison by the first-instance court ruling;

Božidar Stojanovic, born in 1962, Vitina, arrested on 1 September 1999, sentenced by the first-instance court ruling to 16 years in prison.

Saša Maksimovic, born in 1976, Kosovska Kamenica, arrested on 22 September 1999, sentenced to 13.5 years in prison.

Blagoje Petkovic, born in 1943, Gnjilane, arrested on 19 June 1999, sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison.

Highly indicative is the case of Miloš Jokic, student of the Higher Medical School, born in a farmer's family in village Gušica, Kosovo. Has not served the army, has never been mobilised.

He was charged with the war crimes by the Gnjilane District Court. Indictment no. 103/2000 and annex to the indictment no. 29/2000. The main hearing was irregular and biased. Under the ruling ( 27/2000 of 20 September) he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court in Priština, Kosovo.

The case was submitted to the Kosovo ombudsman and other organisations. In view of gross breaches of law, this case should be given a necessary legal treatment.

Similar is the case of Igor Simic, a law student, charged with genocide and remanded in custody in Kosovska Mitrovica prison for 15 months. Igor's car crashed into the KFOR vehicle on 31 July 1997. He was taken to the French gendermerie premises, interrogated for 15 minutes and subsequently detained. He was interrogated about massacre that had happened in this street. His lawyer was not allowed to be present during interrogation. Then Igor was taken to Vucitrn and later to Kosovska Mitrovica. He was remanded in custody on 9 August 1999. He and other Serbs, Dragan Jovanovic, Srdan Aleksic, Vlastimir Aleksic, Branislav Popovic, Tomislav Vuckovic, were charged with genocide (Indictment no. 2/99 of 20 June 2000). The first-instance court ruling is pending.

Another Kosovska Mitrovica case is related to the war crimes sentence.

Zvezdan Simic, municipality of Kosovska Mitrovica, civil engineering technician, father of three children detained since 29 July 1999. Sentenced to 8 years and four months in prison for the criminal offence of murder and unlawful possession of weapons. ( 9/2000)

His trial was biased, unfair and steeped in irregularities.

b) The police

Irregularities committed by the Serbian police are frequent and serious. Long-standing abuse of official duties and inefficiency have become the hallmark of the Ministry of the Interior (police) employees. But even after the installation of the new authorities the police continued to behave in an arbitrary way and to engage in illegal actions and misdeeds. It is obvious that the law enforcement agencies and their officials shall have adjust to the new situation, new needs and be brought into line with principles of developed peoples and European democracies. This 'makeover' process will be long and painful.

Policemen broke into the flat of Vuletic Dušanka from Belgrade on 3 September 2000. The flat is owned by her son Pavle Vuletic. When she returned home, around 10.15 a.m., she found the door open, and all the furniture in the flat turned upside down. Golden ring, chain and DM 4,650 disappeared from the flat. Her neighbours told her that several policemen ransacked her apartment for 10 minutes and then left. They took with them photograph of Pavle Vuletic and enquired about his whereabouts and job. Our client immediately contacted the Zemun police to report the burglary. The policemen came, but were immediately ordered to leave her place. The police have not contacted Vuletic family since that day, stolen things were not returned to them and no explanation was given for the illegal search of their flat.

c) Criminal proceedings

In our previous reports we have often mentioned the faulty proceedings conducted by courts of law and problems related to unlawful detention. There has not been any breakthrough or rather improvement in the work of judicial bodies. But amendments to criminal proceedings and procedural law and simultaneous appointment of new judges and prosecutors.

While awaiting the heralded changes we are still faced with many cases bespeaking the absence of the rule of law. Injustice is rife, there are many unlawful detentions, and many rulings and decisions are contrary to the legal provisions. Victims of such flawed judicial work are also awaiting the period of their rehabilitation.

Budimir Radovic from Belgrade reported the problem of his brother Dragan Radovic from Podgorica, facing trial in the Higher Podgorica Court. On the basis of the submitted documentation we concluded that during the criminal proceedings gross violations of the Act on Criminal Proceedings were committed, notably that Dragan Radovic was unlawfully detained. We sent a letter to the Higher Court in Podgorica indicating violations of the indictee's human rights during the criminal proceedings. Although we did not receive any reply from the said court, Budimir Radovic informed us that the Public Prosecutor dropped the case against Dragan Radovic and released him.

The biggest problems in the work of criminal courts were registered in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, after the establishment of civilian authorities. Courts set up after the 1999 Kosovo crisis are composed of four Albanian judges and one international judge. Trials held before such trial chambers are biased, contain elements of revenge and end in unfair rulings. Partial rulings related to grave criminal offences are usually accompanied by draconian punishments, although the guilt of the indictees is not fully proved due to conspicuous lack of evidence. Such a practice shall have to be changed and replaced by fair proceedings and just rulings in order to enable the return of displaced persons and restore their faith in the new authorities. Security and confidence-building or confidence-restoration must be guaranteed primarily by the judicial bodies.

Alta and Ajdin Muševic, refugees from Kosovo sent us a letter informing us about the murder of their son Berat (24) on 26 June 2000 at the threshold of their house in Dakovica, at the hand of Sulejman Agim and his sons Adinis and Ilir. According to the available information only Agim Sulejmani (the father) was detained in the investigative prison in Pec on grounds of that murder. Family Muševic thinks that sons of Agim Sulejmani, as accomplices to the murder, are unlawfully at large. Even if A. Sulejmani pleaded guilty for the murder of their son, prosecution, defence counsel and the court of law would be duty-bound to conduct a thorough investigation in order to establish the full truth.

We sent a letter with relevant facts to Mr. Marko Novicki, obmudsman for Kosovo. After he asked us in writing to provide him with more data and information, we sent a letter to family Muševic instructing them to comply with his request. But as family Muševic are refugees without a permanent place of residence, they might not have received our letter.

Five years after the end of war in Bosnia and Croatia, the predominant negative positions on national minorities, notably on Croats and Muslims has changed very little. Intolerance towards them is publicly manifested by the police and relevant state bodies. There are no signs that the new FRY authorities made a clean break with the discrimination policy.

Zineta Nikolic, is a Muslim woman, lives with her family in Novi Sad. This is her account: " We were celebrating the 1st May, and played loudly the music like some other neighbours. But our next-door neighbours Brkici, who have been provoking me for years because of my Muslim origins, called the police. The police came twice, the first time around 22 p.m. and the second time around 23.30 p.m and told us to lower the volume of our record-player. The second time they told me they came to pick me up because I was a Muslim, and that they did not care about my Montenegrin husband. They harassed and insulted me. Firs they took me to the police station in Kraljevica Marka street and then to the second station in Šajkaška street. There a policeman insulted me, called me a dirty Muslim and roughed me up so much that I fainted. When I recovered consciousness they took me again to the police station in Kralejvica Marka street, and left me the whole nigh in a freezing cell without any water and without allowing me to take my medicine. The following morning around 9 a.m they released me. I went to the doctor, who saw big bruises on my head and contusions of the right eye and nose. Two days later I went to see the commander of the police station in Šajkaška street. He was very kind, but he told me that had no certificate about my overnight confinement. Neither the police nor the magistrate instituted any proceedings against me."

This party was advised to file a lawsuit against the police. HC would provide her with complete legal protection and services of our lawyer.

It will take years to bring into line the FRY with the European and international legal standards. The law enforcement and judicial bodies shall have to be re-educated and trained to understand the importance of their profession, law and freedom of citizens.

c) Different kinds of damage compensations

This area of the law and its enforcement shall have to undergo major changes. First of all various kinds of damage compensations should be systematised. A major problem are unrealistic expectations of citizens. Namely many expect that the new authorities shall compensate them for all the oversights of the former regime. A number of citizens think that "good" compensation could be wrested on different grounds from members of international forces.

Katarina Gojkovic from Belgrade, medical doctor, was delivering her child during the NATO air strikes. She was actually giving birth when the NATO missiles hit the hospital. She believes that one of the states which took part in the intervention should compensate for her fear and her impaired health. We cannot provide her with adequate legal protection, as there are no grounds for such a protection.

It is possible that in future such cases shall be dealt with by some courts of law. The same applies to cases of damage compensation requested by parents of the casualties of the RTS building bombardment and other civilian victims during the NATO intervention against the FRY.

Redressing the war wrongs shall also have to cover persons victims of all wars waged since 1991. Many of them are faced with loss of their fundamental rights, for example the right to pension.

The late Nada Stefanovic settled in Belgrade with her two sons in 1983. As a retiree she kept receiving her Croat pension until late 1991. She died on 29 November 1994 in Belgrade. Her son Branislav, a FRY citizen, as a universal heir of his mother, wants to be paid up all her overdue pension. He was advised to have the inheritance hearing settled first and then to file a lawsuit in a bid to have his rights attained. But there is no official procedure for such cases.

e) social cases

Kindergartens, children day-care centres, primary and secondary schools after years of neglect and lack of funds are in tatters. Buildings need to be repaired and repainted. Needs are enormous, but funds for the upkeep and renovation are minimal. The only hope is that a substantial humanitarian assistance shall start pouring into Yugoslavia after its reintegration into the international community. Concrete humanitarian offers for concrete projects are afoot, and their implementation is expected shortly.

Primary school "Branko Radicevic" from New Belgrade, was built in 1975. This is the largest school in Belgrade. It has 8.000 square metres and 1,600 pupils. It was a highly representative school until 1990 (it had a choir, different artistic groups and won many competitions). Due to sanctions and the official policy no investments were made into school for 10 years. Classrooms are ruined, chemistry and other natural sciences cabinets are without the necessary equipment, and the gym does not meet the required standards so that children between the ages of 7 to 11 do not have physical education classes during winter months. Hygiene conditions are poor, benches and tables are old, the roof is leaking. Only blackboards are used, and the school does not have a single computer.

Local and republican authorities cannot provide large financial assistance as other schools are also in poor condition. The intense search for humanitarian or any other assistance is under way.



All persons who are not citizens of the FRY are to be considered foreigners, although some of them have close relatives and ties in the FRY. It is not clear how persons from Kosovo and Metohija are to be treated since there are no FRY state authorities in that territory and federal legal provisions are not in place there. The local courts of law and administrative bodies don't have any contact with the FRY. Right answers to those issues shall have to be found soon. With the newly-emerged states the FRY is speedily re-establishing diplomatic ties, but violations of minorities rights continue unabated in the FRY proper.

At the request of the Croatian Helsinki Committee in Zagreb HC is trying is to obtain a birth certificate of an Albanian. Naim Gashi lives and works in Croatia and he intends to continue living there. He asked to be granted the Croatian citizenship, but the relevant authorities in Croatia told him that he first had to renounce the FRY (Serbia, that is Kosovo and Metohija) citizenship and submit the pertinent document to them. Birth registers of Kosovo nationals, in this specific case of the person born in Kosovksa Mitorivica, are in Serbia, that is in town of Kraljevo. When the army and the police pulled out from Kosovo they seized all the relevant registers and relocated them to some Serbian towns. Hence copies of birth certificates cannot be issued in Kosovo and Metohija.

Consequences of 'relocating' such important registers are very serious, and they badly affect citizens who want to solve their existential problems.

Legal provisions related to minorities continue to be flagrantly violated, notably when at stake are some financial gains. The YA bodies often engage in such practice.

Dilaver Subašic from Sarajevo while journeying towards the FRY inadvertently crossed the border at the wrong place. He was then taken by the military official to the police station and then to the magistrate. After answering charges of illegal border crossing, he was sentenced to immediately pay a heavy fine. This was a normal procedure, but then Dilaver's truck was seized and an official document on the seizure was issued. The truck was kept by the Užice Corps and Colonel Popovic and Lieutenant Milosavljevic told our client that the vehicle would never be restituted to him because he was a foreign citizen. Lawsuit is pending in Užice and HC shall monitor the course of proceedings. Caveat: Dilaver Subašic is a professional truck driver who transports various goods. For months now he has not been able to earn a living because of the confiscation of his truck.

The Yugoslav army and police often resort to vehicle seizures and later unlawfully use them. This has happened frequently to drivers of vehicles with Montenegrin licence plates.

Such actions aim to intimidate citizens, reduce the free flow of people and ensure unlawful gains.

According to unverified information there are a number of foreign convicts in prisons in several Serbian towns. A number of the Republic of Croatia citizens are serving terms of imprisonment in Sremska Mitrovica. All circumstances of their imprisonment are still not known, hence full reports on them shall ensue once we get all the relevant information and visit those convicts.

Flora Brovina was released after she was officially pardoned by the FRY President.. Miroslav Filipovic, journalist of daily "Danas " and "France Press Agency" was also released, as were Zoran Nikolic, trade-union activists arrested on 5 October and a number of Albanians. The Amnesty Act is in the offing and the Citizenship Act providing for dual citizenship is also being prepared.

Report prepared by:
Biljana Stanojevic



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