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INFO   :::  Press Release - PAGE 2 > No Empathy for Asylum Seekers



Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

No Empathy for Asylum Seekers

Belgrade, November 29, 2013

These days in Serbia the humanitarian tragedy of the people from Middle East and North African countries desperately fleeing their homes got an additionally inhuman proportion. Hundreds of men, women and children are still left without a proper shelter because the government, the Commissariat for Refugees and other institution failed to act in due time.

A normal person could not but be shocked by the scenes shot at the location where the government tried to accommodate those unfortunate people: the asylum seekers were “welcomed” with locals’ paranoia. Locals who refused to have “alien” and “different” people in their vicinity showed how deep their xenophobia was and how little human solidarity was left in them.

They brutally manifested total absence of empathy for people in trouble, not even refraining from violence – they torched a barrack housing asylum seekers in Obrenovac.

Forced to react against such incidents, the government decided to shelter the asylum seekers in Sandzak municipalities. This unfortunately indicates that people in Central Serbia are not only xenophobic but also Islamophobic, something for which Serbia’s political and intellectual elite are to be called to account.

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia hopes that the asylums seekers would be treated hospitably in Sandzak and stay there until they set themselves for their final destinations as inasmuch as possible dignified people.

We also hope this human drama would prompt Serbia’s government and other relevant institutions to take timely measures against such humiliating scenes in the future. International covenants this country has signed make them duty-bound to react in a proper manner. Moreover, Serbia is also bound by morality considering numbers of its citizens and others from the region who have enjoyed hospitality of various countries for years since 1990s.



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