Regarding the scandalous announcement made by the Minister Aleksandar Vulin, that the convicted war criminal Vladimir Lazarevic will be a lecturer at the Military Academy, Youth Initiative for Human Rights (the Initiative) requests the urgent dismissal of the Minister of Defense.

The Initiative calls for Prime Minister Ana Brnabić to, as soon as possible, and at the latest by the end of the week, begin the procedure for dismissal of Minister Vulin, due to his permanent efforts to rehabilitate war crimes politics, as well as the most prominent leaders of this politics who have served sentences in prison after their war crimes convictions.

We expect Prime Minister Brnabić to urgently submit a motion for dismissal of Minister Vulin, which would indicate the current government’s rejection of the criminal policy led during the 90s, in order to make a final cut on the promotion of war criminals, which represents shameful disrespect of Serbian citizens. If the Prime minister, by the absence of her reaction, sends a message to the public in Serbia and the region that she agrees with the politics of glorifying war criminals, the Initiative will ask national MPs to initiate the procedure for dismissing the Minister, believing that this is not a party issue but a question of respecting basic civilizational and human values, and first and foremost, respecting war crimes victims.

Rehabilitation of criminals and criminal politics reached its maximum during Vulin’s statement that “none of these people should leave the stage of life without leaving a written testimony of what they did and what kind of decisions they made”. We remind Minister Vulin and the general public that a written, documented and factually substantiated testimony of what the Serbian military and police establishment did in Kosovo can be found in the judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (cases: Milutinović et al. and Vlastimir Đorđević), and that in order to preserve and build the dignity of Serbian society, falsifying history must stop and the process of dealing with the past must begin.

In accordance with this, the Initiative invites Minister of Justice, Nela Kuburović, to, considering the obligations arising from Chapter 23 of Serbia’s Accession to the EU, engage all available resources in order to begin with the implementation of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes, especially in the part in which tackles the improvement of the overall attitude of the society towards the issue of war crimes trials, as well as the improvement of curricula in a way that enables students to obtain a sufficient amount of relevant information regarding conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, war crimes committed in the same period and norms of international humanitarian law.