The public must be regularly informed on the progress of these two investigations so as to establish citizens’ confidence in the institutions and the police, after having followed for hours on TV the clashes between the citizens and the police.
YIHR calls upon the highest state officials, President Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as well as other officials, to use their authority and jurisdiction to normalise the relations in society and stop contributing to further conflicts.
Holders of public functions as well as institutions have an obligation to preserve and improve the democratic order, which implies the lawful acting on the side of the police, but also to control and sanction cases of abuse of power by the police.
The abuse of power by the Interior Ministry, the State Intelligence Agency, and other institutions must be a subject of expedient, transparent, and thorough investigation. Apart from the excessive use of force, within the investigation, special attention must be paid to the potential misuse of cameras for identifying persons on the Nikola Pašić Square and the plateau in front of the Serbian Parliament.
The Police Directorate, rather than the politicians, should explain its actions to the public.
Last night’s events must not remain just the subject of the arbitrary political qualifications. The violence shown by certain groups of protesters, and later the violence of certain members of the police and plain-clothes police officers, must not be normalised. The political interests of multiple sides, aiming to build narratives and collect points at last night’s events – can only lead to further radicalisation of the conflict.
It is the responsibility of the state bodies and independent institutions to put an end to all speculations through a clear determination of responsibility for the criminal offences and misdemeanours committed.
We call upon all citizens who have witnessed or have been subjected to excessive use of force or the use of force that is not lawful and justified during the protest, to contact the organisations:
Belgrade Center for Human Rights
011 3085 328
A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights
011 3225 172
061 1774 239