The first hearing before the Misdemeanor Court, on the charges against Anita Mitić, director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights was held today. Serbian Ministry of Interior charged Mitić with misdemeanor for organizing commemoration of Srebrenica genocide.
Although YIHR notified Court on the significant public interest in the hearing, people interested in attending the hearing were prevented from doing so by police officers and court guard. Contrary to its Rules of Procedure, Court did not provide an adequate courtroom, therefore numerous citizens were left in front of the courtroom and court building. Police even prevented journalists from entering the court, thus violated the Article 7 of the Law on Organization of Courts which stipulates all hearings to be public unless restricted by law, in accordance with the Constitution. Eventually, journalists, who were allowed to enter the courtroom, were prohibited from bringing in the recording equipment.
At the very beginning of the trial, Anita Mitić’s legal representative requested an acquittal. In the moment when Srebrenica genocide commemoration took place, Constitutional Court of Serbia declared Public Assembly Act unconstitutional, which made unconstitutional misdemeanor charge against Mitić. The hearing was postponed to allow presiding judge to familiarize herself to the decision of the Constitutional Court.
Few dozen of citizens and civil society activists gathered in front of the court building before the hearing began. They expressed support to Anita Mitić by holding message #it_wasn’t_her_it_was_me. Gathered citizens and activists also showed united position that no misdemeanor charge, let alone unfounded one, would stop them from fighting for civilized and different Serbia, where the truth about Srebrenica genocide was acknowledged, accountable for the crimes committed, which was investing, on the daily bases, in the reconciliation process in the region.
Photo gallery available here.