Unfounded lawsuits against human rights activists in Serbia

The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights YUCOM, together with partners Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and Association People’s Parliament, as a consortium initiative “Solidarity for the Rights of All”, have organized the conference in regard to the presentation of second Report on Attacks on Human Rights Defenders in Serbia for 2021 in the hybrid event on February 18, 2022.

The initiative “Solidarity for the Rights of All” has been launched aiming at strengthening and gathering human rights defenders from Serbia and to map various attacks and pressures that HRDs face in Serbia. Based on the data collected for the Map of Incidents, noting these attacks and pressures on organizations, informal groups and individuals involving human rights protection, the team has prepared a second annual report – Report on Attacks on Human Rights Defenders in Serbia for 2021.

During the presentation, attentive participants of the domestic and international public have presented with information on the current situation and position of human rights defenders in Serbia.

One session of the conference was dedicated to representation of defenders before domestic institutions. Kristina Todorović, attorney at law at the Laweyers’ Committee for Human Rights and Aladin Paučinac, activist from Novi Pazar, were discussing as conference speakers different kinds of the risks and threats, including court proceedings pressures, conducted in order to silent voice of defenders in Serbia. Activist Aladin Paucinac was convicted in two proceedings for the criminal offence insult towards Meho Mahmutovic director of the hospital in Novi Pazar and the member of the ruling party. Aladin was convicted for criticizing director of the hospital for failures in the management of the hospital in Novi Pazar during pandemic, through Facebook social media. It was specific in this case that the court refused to consider any of the evidence proposed by the defense, including the fact that the accused was a human rights activist. 

The Laweyers’ Committee for Human Rights, representing Aladin, have filed a constitutional complaint regarding Freedom of expression prescribed in Article 46 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and Art. 10 of the European Convention on Conservation human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This strategic litigation was supported through ABA ROLI project Protecting the Freedom of Speech on Internet.

Leave a Reply