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Serbia

Serbia: Diaspora concripts unable to return

Serbian men of draft age living abroad are trying to organise for an amnesty, so that they can return to their country. According to the Serbian Ministry of Diaspora, about 150,000 people living abroad do not return or visit Serbia for fear of getting arrested at the border and/or taken to military barracks, as they had left the country without reporting for military service.
Source: Email from a Serbian diaspora draft age man known to War Resisters' International

Serbia and Montenegro: More than 12000 COs in first year

More than 12000 young men applied for conscientious objection in Serbia and Montenegro since the introduction of regulation for conscientious objection came into force last year, and substitute service began on 22 December 2003. According to information from the Army of Serbia and Montenegro, 6155 persons were performing substitute service in October 2004, and 5621 cases were still pending. This is about 30% of all persons liable to conscription.

Source: Email Igor Seke, 29 October 2004

Observations finales du Comité des droits de l’homme: Serbie-et-Monténégro

CCPR/CO/81/SEMO
12 août 2004

(...)

21. Le Comité prend note de l'information fournie par la délégation selon laquelle l'objection de conscience est régie par un décret provisoire, qu'il est prévu de remplacer par une loi qui reconnaîtra pleinement l'objection de conscience au service militaire et l'existence d'un service civil de remplacement d'une durée égale à celle du service militaire (art. 18).

Dealing with the past in Serbia

Katarina Putnik

The topic of Serbia and its political situation has been lingering in the news since the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, including the NATO bombing. Many things about this country and the region as a whole have been exposed to the world, apart from one: the truth! All sides involved, from the republics of ex- Yugoslavia to the international community, tell only their version of the conflict. This is not the way forward. If it continues, there is a dark future ahead for Serbia, as well as for many neighbouring countries.

A message from Women in Black

Stasa Zajovic, on behalf of Women in Black from Belgrade, wrote on July 15th 2002 a letter to Serbian war veterans' and refugee organisations of Bratunca and Srebrenica, explaining why they had paid tribute to the Srebrenica massacre:

SERBIA&MONTENEGRO: Conscientious objector released from prison

Activist:
Pays:
  • Serbie
Alert:

Serbian conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic was released from prison on 12 December 2003. Nikola Kovacevic has been arrested on 5 December for deserting from unarmed service in the military (see http://wri-irg.org/news/htdocs/20031205a.html). He stood trial in the morning of 12 December, and was sentenced to 3 months suspended sentence, suspended for one year. Nikola Kovacevic applied for conscientious objection back in May 2003, but was called up for unarmed service within the military. He began his service, but refused certain duties.

SERBIA&MONTENEGRO: Conscientious objector arrested by military police

Activist:
Pays:
  • Serbie
Alert:

A few hours ago conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic (YU13852) has been arrested by military police. He will be tried for "leaving the unit without permission", probably already on Monday or Tuesday. Nikola Kovacevic applied for conscientious objector status in May 2003. As there was no genuine civilian substitute service at that time, he was sent to a military economic organisation at Karadjordjevo. There he was forced to work in a slaughterhouse, which he refused on several occasions.

Conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic

Activist:
Pays:
  • Serbie
Not sent after:
  • 5 Jan 2004
  • Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (General Branko Krga, Chief of General Staff). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish.
    You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic

Dear General Branko Krga, Chief of General Staff

I am very concerned about the arrest of conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic on 5 December 2003. Nikola Kovacevic applied for his constitutional right to conscientious objection in May 2003, and was subsequently sent to unarmed service in a military economic institution of the Armed Forces of Serbia and Montenegro. This in itself is a violation of his human right to conscientious objection, as unarmed service in the military is not a genuine civilian substitute service.

The Right to Conscientious Objection to Military Service in selected member states of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Related peace activists: 
The right to conscientious objection is derived from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and seen as a manifestation of the freedom of religion and belief. The then CSCE stressed the right to conscientious objection in paragraph 18 of the Document of the Copenhagen meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension in June 1990.The UN Commission on Human Rights stressed the right to conscientious objection in several resolution, most recently Resolution 1998/77, 2000/34, 2002/45. The Council of Europe also stresses the right to conscientious objection, especially in resolution 337 (1967) and recommendations 1518 (2001), R (87) 8, and 816 (1977).

SERBIA&MONTENEGRO: Conscientious objector went into hiding

Activist:
Pays:
  • Serbie
Alert:

Serbian conscientious objector Milan Gligoric fled from the barracks and went into hiding on 12 April 2003. Milan Gligoric, a Jehovah's Witness from Ljubovija, was sentenced on 12 December to 4 month suspended sentence, with 2 years parole period. He received a new call up to the army in February 2003, ordering him to report to the military barracks on 4 March 2003. Milan Gligoric is prepared to perform an alternative service of genuine civilian nature, but such a service is at present not available in Serbia and Montenegro.

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