Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/16/44/Add.1, 28 February 2011: Serbia
Letter of allegations
2108. On 19 January 2010, the Special Rapporteur, together with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, sent a letter of allegations concerning Mr. Marko Karadzic, State Secretary of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia.
2109. Mr. Karadzic was the subject of an urgent appeal sent by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders on 6 May 2009. We regret that no response to that communication has been received from Government to date.
2110. According to the information received, on 8 January 2010, Mr. Marko Karadzic’s apartment was broken into by unknown individuals. Apart from some cash no other valuables have been reported missing.
2111. At the same time, a graffiti by the organization “Crna Ruka” (Black Hand) appeared near Mr. Karadzic’s apartment in Belgrade. The same organization posted obscene posters of Mr. Karadzic in Pancevo at the beginning of 2009.
2112. Concern was expressed that the harassment of Mr. Marko Karadzic may have been 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; his call on the Government to ban extremist right wing organizations advocating violence against the Roma and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and his comments rejecting political statements about the implied superiority of Serbs over other minorities living in Serbia.
Response from the Government
2113. In a letter dated 25 May 2010, the Government responded to the communication sent on 19 January 2010 as follows. On 20 January 2010 a criminal complaint by an unknown person was forwarded to the Ministry of Interior for the committee criminal offence of grand larceny as prescribed in Article 204 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia to the detriment of Mr. Marko Karadzic. The mentioned criminal complaint was submitted to the Police Directorate of the City of Belgrade, the Directorate of Criminal Complaints, for processing with an order to send it to the competent public prosecution office, pursuant to Article 224, paragraph 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code as well as to make the checks of the allegations contained in the complaint upon receipt of the request to collect the necessary information.
2114. According to the report by the police officers, within the period from 12:30 to 16:30pm on 8 January 2010, the criminal offence of grand larceny as prescribed in Article 204 was committed to the detriment of Mr. Marko Karadzic, the State Secretary of Human and Minorities Rights from Belgrade. The criminal offence was committed by an unknown perpetrator by breaking the outside door and stealing EUR 150.00 from the flat of the damaged person, together with other valuables. The specialized teams of the Police Directorate of the City of Belgrade carried out the investigation on the scene of the crime.2115. The scene of the crime was processed with the aim to find possible traces,the swabs were taken in order to establish possible DNA profiles of the perpetrator, the traces of papillary lines were fixed as well as traces of footwear. On 11 January 2010, the Ministry of Interior, the Police Directorate of the City of Belgrade, Department of Investigation, Operative Jobs, submitted to the First Public Prosecutor Office a complaint against an unknown person for the criminal offence of grand larceny as prescribed in Article 204, paragraph 1, item 1 of the Criminal Code to the detriment of Mr. Marko Karadzic.
2116. The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the Government for the response received to her communication sent on 19 January 2010. However, she wishes to express her regret that, at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not responded to her communications sent on 6 May and 7 August 2009. She considers response to her communications an important part of cooperation by Governments. She urges the Government to respond to concerns raised by her and provide detailed information regarding investigations undertaken, prosecutions as well as protective measures taken.
Link to full text of the report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/docs/A.HRC.16.44.Add.1_EFSonly.pdf