Belgrade, March 21, 2006
On Wednesday, March 15, 2006, several policemen from
the Kikinda police station were suspected of having so brutally beaten
up the 28-year-old Mihalj Koloncaj, the town's resident, that his spleen
had to be removed. In October 2004, after a police patrol from the same
station intervened, policeman Sasa Mijin was suspected of having fatally
injured his townsman Zdravko Trivan. Criminal proceedings against the
accused were instituted in both cases, while a number of policemen were
suspended for misconduct.
Though the authorities acted by the book in both
cases, the fact is that they have done nothing to systematically prevent
any police torture, let alone such brutal beatings that result in death
or physical disability.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia once
again highlights it is eleventh hour for a radical reform of police
forces, which not only implies lustration of all policemen who have been
directly involved in most brutal forms of torture and violation of human
rights over the past 15 years, but also a thorough change in the
educational system for new cadres and courses of in-service training for
all members of police forces in the concept of human rights and
contemporary, legal methods of investigation.
It goes without saying that such reform calls for
developed mechanisms of independent control over the legality of the