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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion: Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/14/23/Add.1, 1 June 2010: Serbia


Urgent appeal

2111. Mr. Marko Karadzic received additional threats in connection with his support for the adoption of the comprehensive Anti-discrimination Law, which the Parliament adopted after several setbacks on 26 March 2009. The law contains sexual orientation as a ground for nondiscrimination in Article 21. On 4 April 2009, posters appeared on the streets of several cities with photographs of explicit gay sexual acts and a photograph and quote from Mr. Marko Karadzic, implying that his advocacy for the Anti-discrimination Law will bring sexual orgies to the streets of Serbia. The posters had been prepared by an extreme right-wing group called “Crna ruka” (Black Hand, named after a terrorist organization formed in the early 1900s).

2112. On 14 April 2009, Mr. Karadzic received an anonymous letter containing serious death threats and threats of beatings, and warnings that he should not to take part in the Belgrade gay parade. Mr. Karadzic also received further death threats through the social networking website Facebook, suggesting that “if the posters would not stop him, there is something that will”. Mr. Marko Karadzic informed the State Security Service of the threats he had received, but reportedly received no meaningful advice or protection, which increases the possibility of further threats or attacks. He had further notified the Minister for Human and Minority Rights, Mr. Svetozar Ciplic about the threats

2113. Concern was expressed that the threats against, and harassment of, Mr. Marko Karadzic may be related to his peaceful activities defending human rights, in particular his advocacy for the adoption of the Anti-discrimination Law; his public stance against the eviction of Roma families; and his call on the Government to ban extremist right wing organizations advocating violence against the Roma or Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people. Further concern was expressed regarding the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Karadzic, and the apparent lack of adequate response from the police and the State Security Service in responding to these threats and the failure to launch investigations into them.

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