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INFO   :::  Human Rights > Vulnerable Groups > Letter to Vladan Batic, Minister of Justice, Republic of Serbia


Letter to Vladan Batic, Minister of Justice, Republic of Serbia

Belgrade, 22 January, 2002

08/11/2002, Author: HCHRS



Nemanjina 22-26, Belgrade

Attn.: Minister Vladan Batic


Dear Mr. Batic:

It has been five years now that the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights has been engaged in the project to assist the refugees from the Republic of Croatia. The assistance includes the Committee's mediation in securing personal documents to the refugees from Croatia. The fact that registers of births, marriages and deaths have been destroyed in a number of Croatian municipalities during the war, additionally burdens all attempts by those actually in the Republic of Croatia eager to get hold of personal documents such as birth certificates, certificates of Croatian citizenship and marriage certificates.

However, some municipal registers have been moved from Croatia to Serbia (this refers to municipalities of Drnis, Zrmanja, Gracac, Mali Gradac and Glina). These registers are still in Serbia. Until recently, the Belgrade Administration Secretariat used to issue birth and marriage certificates to the refugees from Croatia, on the grounds of entries in the above-mentioned registers. We are enclosing copies of birth and marriage certificates issued in the Drnis municipality. Absurdly enough, those certificates are not recognized either by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or the Republic of Croatia.

The procedure of subsequent entries in records of Croatian citizenship and records of births, as well as convalidation of marriages proclaimed in registry offices in the Republic of Croatia, the original records of which are located in the FR of Yugoslavia, is lengthy and complex. This additionally hinders the process of securing status and other rights, the refugees are entitled to both in the Republic of Croatia and the FR of Yugoslavia. And, this surely figures as a stumbling block in the process of reaching a lasting solution to the status of numerous refugees, no matter whether they opt for repatriation or integration into a local community.

We hope the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia gives grounds for returning registers of births, marriages and deaths to the Republic of Croatia, they belong to. No doubt an act as such would contribute to more efficient solution to problems facing the refugees from Croatia, improve their positions in many aspects and help reach a lasting solution to their status.

We would appreciate your personal engagement to help resolve this matter.


Sonja Biserko,


Cc: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the FR of Yugoslavia

The U.S. Embassy to the FRY

The Council of Europe

The European Union


The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the FRY





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