Since the introduction of the multi-party system in Serbia in 1990, the government has publicly accused opposition leaders of treason, lack of patriotism, an intention to gain power by illegal means, and other misdeeds. During and after the war with NATO (March to June 1999), the state-controlled media and government officials launched their fiercest anti-opposition campaign so far. The primary target of the attacks was the Alliance for Change, the informal coalition of opposition parties. Four state officials have been most consistent in their accusations against the alliance and other opposition formations: Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic, President of the Serbian Parliament Dragan Tomic, Yugoslav Secretary of Information Goran Matic, and Yugoslav Minister of Telecommunications Ivan Markovic. They initiated a campaign against the opposition in September, three months after the NATO intervention. Marjanovic accused the alliance leaders of being "traitors whose minds are in the NATO alliance, and only their hands and legs in Serbia; ...[T]hey are nothing else but mercenaries in foreign pay who serve the continued aggression against our country...."2 Tomic stated that "there are two sides in Serbia - one is for Serbia, and the other is for NATO."3 Matic called "the NATO opposition" a Trojan horse serving the continued aggression against Yugoslavia,4 and Markovic compared the Alliance for Change with 1930s Nazi squads.5
After September 21, when the Alliance for Change initiated a series of evening rallies throughout Serbia, the campaign of accusations intensified, with Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic joining in. On October 11, on the occasion of opening of a railway station in Leskovac, Milosevic spoke before tens of thousands of his supporters:
"[T]hose who drag through the streets of our towns in evening hours...are mostly cowards, blackmailers, and flatterers. During the bombing they did not don their uniforms or reach for their guns; many ran away from the country and waited for the bombing to stop before returning here.... [W]ith stones in their hands and with the vocabulary they learned in the offices of our killers, they threaten to destroy what we have managed to defend from NATO and what we have rebuilt after it was ruined by NATO. The only thing they seek is to usher this country into a civil war through violence, wherein external support would be accompanied by the representatives of its donors with a Serbian, or-why not-a German or a Saxon surname."6
In an interview given in October to the Vatican weekly "Famiglia Cristiana," and widely publicized in the Serbian government-controlled media, Mirjana Markovic repeated her husband's accusations:
"When the bombardment stopped, most of those who had run away from the country, almost all of them, returned to the country with new tasks. As the attempt to occupy Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia, failed, a new way leading to bloodshed in Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia, was looked for and found. The new way is actually a tested old way, and it is called civil war."7
The common thread in the accusations has been that opposition politicians are trying to incite violence and civil war in Serbia. The accusations stands in stark contrast to the facts: in the five months in which hundreds of opposition rallies were held (July - November 1999), there were only four minor incidents in which acts of violence by opposition supporters were reported.8 At the same time, the government has used violence a number of times against the opposition, and dozens of opposition activists and supporters have been beaten by police and thugs believed to be working for the government.9 A bomb exploded in the house of an opposition politician,10 and a Molotov cocktail exploded in the office of an opposition party.11 The government also failed to conduct a proper investigation into the assassination of a prominent journalist critical of the Serbian authorities and into the deaths of five bodyguards and colleagues of opposition leaders.12
The use of threats and violence has been accompanied by the increasing use of legal proceedings against the opposition.
Leadership of Democratic Party (DS) Persecuted
On March 11, 1999, the SPS leadership in Nis, the second largest town in Serbia, requested state organs to "undertake all measures prescribed by the Tax Law and Penal Code" against Zoran Zivkovic, mayor of Nis and vice-president of DS, one of the leading opposition parties in Serbia. The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) claimed that the private enterprise Tehnomeding, which Zivkovic previously owned, had been involved in illegal activities.13 On March 24, two weeks after the SPS request, the NATO bombardments of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter Yugoslavia) started. There have been no reports since of a proceeding against Zivkovic.
During the NATO war with Yugoslavia, Zoran Djindjic, president of the DS, criticized both the intervention and the policy of the Serbian and federal authorities, and he advocated the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power. State media intensified its fierce campaign against Djindjic. On May 6, a commentary attacking Djindjic was read on the Serbian Radio-Television (RTS), and on May 13, two commentaries written in a similar vein appeared on RTS14 and in the newspaper Politika.15 Along with Milo Djukanovic, president of Montenegro, Djindjic was accused of being a servant of the NATO alliance and a proponent of the intervention. The RTS commentary ended by concluding that history will remember Djindjic and Djukanovic as "most miserable scions of the Serbian and Montenegrin nation." The accusations against Djindjic were similar to those made in the state media against Slavko Curuvija, a prominent journalist from Belgrade who was killed by unknown attackers in mid-April.16 Djindjic left Belgrade shortly after the verbal attacks and found refuge in Montenegro during the war.
After the state of war was abrogated by the Yugoslav parliament on June 26, a military judge initiated an investigation into Djindjic's alleged evasion of military service during the NATO intervention. Djindjic returned to Belgrade nevertheless, and on July 28 he appeared at a hearing before the military court. On August 9, the court notified Djindjic's lawyers that there was no basis for the prosecution, since the order to report for military service had not been properly delivered to Djindjic.
Djindjic has continued to be a leading figure in the Alliance for Change, to which the DS belongs, demanding the resignation of Milosevic and early elections under international supervision. Media under the government's control have continued to attack him and regularly refer to him as a "traitor."
On June 15, Goran Vesic, a member of the DS Main Council and president of its press relations office, was sentenced in absentia by the military court in the city of Uzice to two years in prison for evading mobilization during the NATO intervention.17 In his statements to the media, Vesic claimed that he had not received any order to report.18 The order, he said, was left on April 2 at the apartment of his parents, in the city of Kraljevo, even though Vesic has been residing in Belgrade since 1991.19 That Vesic has been living in Belgrade for the past eight years was confirmed in a notice sent on July 29 by the commander of the Kraljevo police station to the competent military court in Uzice.20 Since May 1999, Vesic has been residing in Montenegro, out of reach of the Serbian authorities and the army.
Other Opposition Leaders Threatened with Criminal Prosecution
Velimir Ilic is the mayor of Cacak, a city in the central part of Serbia, and president of Srbija Zajedno ("Serbia Together"), an opposition party belonging to the Alliance for Change. On May 10, four persons were killed in Cacak in a NATO attack on a target in the central residential zone. Ilic visited the site just after the incident and expressed anger that the army had located its vehicles in the zone, against the wishes of the local residents. His words were recorded by a journalist and broadcast that evening on Radio Free Europe's Serbian-language program. On the evening of May 19, radio amateurs informed Ilic that a military police patrol was on its way to his house to arrest him. He stayed in hiding in the villages around Cacak for the next forty days, according to media reports.21
Throughout the period, both the military and the civilian authorities remained silent on the status of Ilic's case, and it has never been confirmed that charges against him were in preparation. Ilic appeared in public again on June 29, as a speaker at a rally organized in Cacak by the Alliance for Change, and he has participated in numerous opposition rallies since.
Vesna Pesic, former president of the opposition Civic Union and a 1997 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, was threatened with criminal prosecution after her speech at an opposition rally in Vrsac, a town in Vojvodina province, on August 12. At the rally, she said that "there will be no more pardons," and "if needed, the Romanian model will be enacted in Serbia."22 The phrase "the Romanian model" is understood in Yugoslav political jargon to mean the forceful overthrow of the regime, as occurred in 1989, resulting in the lynching of the former Romanian president Nicolai Ceausescu and his wife Elena. Three days after the Vrsac rally, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic said Vesna Pesic was "a killer hired by NATO" and accused her party of being a "terrorist organization."23 A few days later, a district public prosecutor confirmed to the media that his office had requested the police to investigate whether Pesic committed an offense. The offense in question, in the words of the prosecutor, was "incitement to the forceful change of the constitutional order, or some other deed."24 In a statement released on August 19, the Presidency of the European Union expressed its concern over a possible prosecution.25 In mid-October the Public Prosecutor was still awaiting the police report, on the basis of which he would make a decision on Pesic's prosecution.26 There have been no reported developments in the case since then.
On September 10, a municipal prosecutor in Belgrade filed a motion for a preliminary investigation of Zarko Jokanovic, vice-president of the executive board of the opposition New Democracy party. The motion referred to a criminal violation of article 218 of the penal code of the Republic of Serbia ("Circulating False Statements"),27 allegedly committed by Jokanovic at a press conference held a week earlier. Jokanovic had claimed that Serbian president Milan Milutinovic might be under house arrest, since he had fallen out of favor with Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic. According to Jokanovic, Milutinovic's life was at stake.28 As of January 2000, the prosecutor had not filed an indictment against Jokanovic.
Two government representatives filed private charges in September and October against Alliance for Change leaders because of their statements at anti-government rallies. Milovan Bojic, deputy Serbian prime minister and a physician by profession, brought a charge of slander against eleven speakers at a September 22 rally in Belgrade, where demonstrators held a "trial" of the government because of the poor state of the Serbian health-care system.29 A similar "trial" was held in Belgrade at a September 24 rally, this time because of the state of the Serbian banking system. Borka Vucic, federal minister for relations with international financial institutions, sued Vuk Obradovic,30 one of the Alliance for Change leaders at the time.31 None of the trials based on the charges by Bojic or Vucic had begun at the time of writing.
Physical Violence against Opposition Party Activists
The federal parliament ended the state of war on June 26, 1999. In the wake of the decision, the opposition parties, most of which had ceased their activities during the NATO intervention, restarted their activities. They launched a campaign demanding the resignation of FRY president Slobodan Milosevic which included a series of public rallies and the signing of a petition for Milosevic's removal. At the beginning of the campaign, the police refrained from using force to disperse street demonstrators, although some people were detained. Four activists of the opposition League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina were detained on July 1 while distributing leaflets inviting residents of Novi Sad to a rally against Milosevic. They were released several hours after their arrest.32 On July 2, in Sabac, three members of DS who tried to gather signatures for a petition against Milosevic were summoned to the local police station. Dusan Petrovic, chief of the Sabac branch of the party, and his two colleagues, Nikola Lazarevic and Zoran Misic, were brought to the station for an "informative talk," following the removal by the police of the street stand where the petition was being signed.33
Gradually, more radical measures were employed, including the use of force. In at least one instance, the victims and witnesses recognized members of one of the ruling parties (JUL) as perpetrators of a violent attack against opposition activists. Descriptions in the media of other incidents suggest that professional and well-trained thugs were systematically employed. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any investigation to identify and punish those responsible for these arbitrary attacks, nor has any member of the Serbian ruling coalition (SPS, JUL, SRS) condemned the violence. Coupled with an intense state media campaign against the opposition, this suggests that the campaign of violence was tolerated, if not encouraged, by the authorities.
Violence against Members of DS and Other Opposition Parties
The first in a series of violent incidents occurred while the NATO intervention was still underway. On May 8, two nights after the RTS journalist and JUL official Tatjana Lenard attacked the Democratic Party in a commentary read in the main RTS news program, dozens of apparent civilians shattered the windows and damaged the façade of the DS headquarters in central Belgrade. The police did not intervene to disperse the mob. DS officials claimed that the action was well orchestrated. The most active among the protesters were young thugs with short hair in leather jackets, they said, a description which since the mid-1990s has regularly appeared in accounts of the violence used against the government's opponents. Also, DS officials told Human Rights Watch that a bus was seen transporting the protesters to the street around the corner from the office.34 Over the weekend of July 10-11, the offices of three major opposition parties-DS, SPO, and Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS)- were also stoned by unidentified persons in Zajecar.35
In the period from July 12-15, activists of the DS in Belgrade collecting signatures for the resignation of Milosevic were subjected to several physical attacks by thugs who appeared after the police had unsuccessfully tried to persuade the DS activists to remove their street stands. Two DS members were beaten on July 13 in Belgrade's Terazije Square by a group of JUL activists. According to press reports, the DS members recognized one of the them.36 On July 15, eight short haired men in sweat suits ran out of two cars near a DS stand and beat some activists-mostly women-who were collecting signatures for the petition.37
On July 26, on the eve of a rally organized by the Alliance for Change in Sabac, a person whom the alliance representatives identified as "an SPS activist" pulled a gun on the DS leader Zoran Djindjic.38
In August, after the termination of the petition campaign, the harassment against the DS and other parties ceased being violent. On the night of September 7, however, and then again on September 10, unknown perpetrators broke into the DS office in the southern city of Vranje and stole the office equipment. On October 4, the same thing happened in Valjevo.39 On December 12, a DS office in Sremska Mitrovica was ransacked; the fact that the furniture was damaged but nothing was taken away from the office led the DS to conclude that the perpetrators wanted to intimidate the party activists.40
Opposition parties and activists were not the only ones to be subjected to violence. Victims also included members of the independent trade union Nezavisnost (Independence), which during July also organized for the petition against Milosevic. The police did not formally forbid these actions, but tried to make the Nezavisnost activists remove their stands and collect signatures on their own premises. As a rule, the trade union activists refused to obey the orders. On July 16, unknown individuals attacked members of Nezavisnost who were collecting signatures in Belgrade's Terazije Square. According to a statement released by the trade union, two men in plain clothes ran out of a car, punched a trade unionist (Milan Matejak), and then ran away.41
The Use of Firearms by Officials of the Ruling Parties
Anonymous actors and low-ranking members of the ruling parties have not been the only ones to resort to violence when intimidating government opponents. Two members of the SPS occupying important positions as heads of districts42 in the south of Serbia have used fire arms to intimidate local opponents.
On July 6, some of the participants in an anti-government rally in Leskovac damaged the house of Zivojin Stefanovic, head of the Jablanicki district and an SPS official.43 Stefanovic then went into the yard of Dobrosav Nesic, a local human rights activist,44 pulled a gun, and threatened to kill Nesic and members of his family. Nesic was absent during the incident. A police patrol intervened and led Stefanovic away, the media reported.45 On July 22, Nesic fileda charge against Stefanovic for the crime of "causing general danger" under article 187 of Serbia's penal code. On December 7, the public prosecutor in Leskovac rejected the charge.46
On July 8, during an opposition rally by the Alliance for Change at the central square in Prokuplje, Ratko Zecevic, a prominent member of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) fired several bullets into the air from a building adjacent to the square. Zecevic, head of the Toplicki district and president of the local branch of the SPS, had unsuccessfully tried to prevent the rally when it was announced a week earlier. On July 6, the local SPS announced that it would also stage a rally at the same location and time as that planned by the opposition.47 Since only a small number of SPS supporters gathered at the square, the SPS canceled its counter-demonstration and it was then that Zecevic climbed to the balcony of his party's office and fired several shots into the air.
Violent Suppression of Anti-government Protests
Starting on September 21, a series of peaceful anti-government protests were organized daily by the Alliance for Change, continuing for several weeks. On September 29, the police forcibly dispersed demonstrators in Belgrade, beating and injuring dozens.48 An estimated 20,000 people49 intended to march from Belgrade's central Terazije Square to Dedinje Hill, an elite neighborhood where Slobodan Milosevic lives. Around 9:00 p.m., the protesters were met on the corner of Kneza Milosa and Nemanjina Streets by approximately two hundred policemen in full riot gear. A police commander called for the protesters to disperse since "movement through Kneza Milosa Street is not allowed." Alliance for Change leaders then asked the demonstrators to walk along another street in order to avoid violence, but most refused to move. As a Human Rights Watch researcher present at the spot witnessed, three water cannons and three armored personnel carriers with automatic weapons were placed behind the police cordon confronting the protesters. Around 9:45 p.m., another cordon of police approached the demonstrators from Nemanjina Street and began forcibly to disperse and beat the crowd. Policemen wielded truncheons against people who were on the ground in a prone position and clearly not offering any resistance. Others were beaten in other streets in the city center, long after the protesters had dispersed from the corner of Kneza Milosa and Nemanjina Streets. Between forty-five and sixty individuals sought medical care as a result of the beatings, according to the Alliance for Change. Journalists were also attacked, even after they had identified themselves as press. A correspondent for the independent Beta news agency and cameramen from CNN and SKY news were beaten, and the latter two had their cameras destroyed, according to the independent Radio Index. Commenting the next day on the attacks on the journalists, Vojislav Seselj, deputy Serbian prime minister and head of SRS, said: "Some journalists long for a beating."50
Pavic Obradovic, vice president of the political party Social Democracy, was beaten, and another vice president from the party, Slobodan Orlic, was arrested in front of the party's office, two kilometers away.51
According to Serbia's Law on Citizens' Gatherings, marches must be announced to the police five days in advance of the planned event.52 The police are then obliged to issue a response to the request; failure to do so is consideredapproval for the march. Vladan Batic, coordinator of the Alliance for Change, told Human Rights Watch that the alliance had informed the Belgrade police ahead of the deadline for the march, but that the police had failed to respond.
The next day the police again resorted to force to disperse some 40,000 demonstrators53 who were passing the Brankov bridge, which connects the old and the new parts of Belgrade. The first to be hit by a policeman was Zoran Djindjic, as he was approaching the police commander to negotiate the removal of the police cordon from the bridge. As the Belgrade independent media reported, at least twenty persons were hurt, three of whom with serious injuries.54 An eyewitness, an elderly inhabitant of New Belgrade who was passing by during the event, told Human Rights Watch that he saw the police taking the detained demonstrators behind the police cordons where they were severely beaten and then thrown into police cars.55
On October 13, two dozen short-haired young men attacked a group of approximately one hundred Alliance for Change supporters who had gathered in New Belgrade before walking to the center of Belgrade for an alliance rally. The men were armed with firearms and carried baseball bats, which they used to beat some alliance supporters. During the one minute long event, the police were standing idly aside, according to media reports.56 Six people were hurt.57
On November 9, the police forces in Belgrade used excessive force to disperse a march of some 2,500 thousand students who were demanding early parliamentary elections in Serbia. The police intervened at two locations in the center of Belgrade, within the span of ten minutes, and reportedly injured forty students. Witnesses claim that during the second intervention the special police units brutally beat students, including numerous female students who were present. The march, organized by the Otpor (Resistance) group, was held on the day the Serbian parliament was in session, and it had been announced to the police as required by the Serbian Law on Public Gatherings. The police approved the march, but not the route proposed by Otpor. As Ivan Markovic, a student leader, told Human Rights Watch:
The route they approved included tiny side streets. Nobody would notice the march that way. So we changed the route almost from the start. A group of approximately thirty policemen in full riot gear stopped us after two miles, in Generala Zdanova St. I asked to speak to their commander, so that we could return peacefully to where we came from. But they didn't even want to talk, and after five minutes they started pushing us back. We, from the head of the column, invited other students via megaphone to start moving back. And they did so, but slowly, since it was not simple to make thousands of people move in the opposite direction. That is when the police started beating us. Some students responded by pulling out garbage containers and setting them up as barricades. As I was told afterwards, some also threw stones at the police, but I did not see that. Between twenty and thirty students were beaten there. After five or ten minutes we again formed a column and marched toward the center, to the square where we gathered before the march. But another police cordon blocked the street, at the intersection of the Revolution Boulevard and Kneza Milosa St. The angry students heckled them. After a couple of minutes they started beating us. They were more brutal than the first group, but there was more space to run away, so less students were hurt there.58
On November 10, the head of the Belgrade Police Directorate, Slobodan Zivanovic, told Tanjug news agency that "a group of hooligans caused the incident yesterday, trying to force its way to the building of the People's Assemblyof the Republic of Serbia, during its special session."59 Zivanovic reminded the public that the Law on Public Gatherings prohibits such gatherings in front of the parliament building or in its vicinity during a parliamentary session. The locations at which the police beat the students, however, were a mile from the parliament. Ivan Marovic claims that students did not intend to walk to the parliament building and insists that the police attacked the students only after they began to return to the square at which the march had begun.60
Armed Assaults upon Opposition Premises
The seat of the Democratic Party (DS) in Nis was attacked on November 20, when, according to the Information Bureau of the DS branch in Nis, unknown perpetrators threw a Molotov cocktail through the glass doors and caused a fire.61 A Molotov cocktail exploded on the night of January 8 at the house of Dragan Bogdanovic, Alliance for Change activist in the Valjevo area.62 In the same city, a day later, someone shot at the premises of the Civic Resistance, a local non-party group which since its inception in mid-1999 has vociferously opposed the government.63
Other Measures to Harass Opposition Supporters
Nikola Djurickovic, the man in charge of the audio equipment for the Alliance for Change demonstrations in Belgrade, was sentenced to seven days in prison on September 27, on charges that he had not reported his private change of address to the police (from Berane, Montenegro, to Belgrade). He was released by an appeals court on September 30.
After mid-October 1999, the efforts of the authorities to stop or hinder street protests focused on the prevention of the production and distribution of the newsletter Promene (Changes), which was issued by the alliance as a daily bulletin about the protests. Serbia's Ministry of Information charged the printing house with violating the Law on Public Information. It claimed that Promene was not a bulletin, but a newspaper within the meaning of the law, and as such it should be registered with the ministry. Since Promene was not registered, its publication was illegal. Slavoljub Kacarevic, director of ABC Grafika, the printing house that was printing Promene, reminded the public that in 1998 the printer on several occasions published similar bulletins for a ruling party (JUL), and "nobody raised the issue of its registration then."64 In a series of decisions during October and November, each referring to the publication of separate issues of Promene as distinct misdemeanors, a magistrate in Belgrade fined ABC Grafika more than three million dinars (U.S. $100,000).65 Cedomir Jovanovic, the informal editor of Promene and a functionary in the DS, was ordered to pay 320,000 dinars (U.S. $10,000).66
In November the street protests gradually waned, and the Alliance for Change refocused its activities on joining forces with other opposition parties -primarily with the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO)-in order to exert pressure on the government to call for early parliamentary elections. The protests in the open continued in another form and with different actors, and government repression lessened. Students organized in the Otpor (Resistance) movement carried out a number of outdoor actions of a symbolic character, aimed at ridiculing the government and expressingdissatisfaction with the situation in Serbia.67 The authorities regularly responded by detaining Otpor activists for several hours, during which they were exposed to so-called informative talks-actually interrogations with a dubious legal foundation. Under the Yugoslav Code of Criminal Procedure, police can gather information from citizens when there is reasonable doubt that a felony has been committed. As a rule, however, at "informative talks" the police interrogate a person about his or her political opinions and activities that are unrelated to any specific crimes.2 V. Ristic, "Izdajnici pale zemlju" (Traitors Set the Country on Fire), Danas (Belgrade), September 8, 1999, p. 1. 3 "Na politickoj sceni Srbije dve strane - za Srbiju i za NATO" (Two Sides on the Serbian Political Scene - for Serbia and for NATO), Politika (Belgrade), Sept. 4, 1999, p. 14. 4 "Cilj NATO opozicije je produzena agresija" (NATO Opposition's Goal Is A Prolonged Aggression), Politika, Sept. 18, 1999, p. 14. 5 "Djindjic kao fasista" (Djindjic as a Fascist), Glas Javnosti (Belgrade), Sept. 20, 1999, p. 3. 6 "Mala i ranjena Srbija obnavlja se brzinom leta projektila koji su je razarali" (A Small and Wounded Serbia Recovers at the Speed of Missiles Used to Destroy It), Politika, October 12, 1999, p. 14. 7 "Moja zemlja je sada najvece gradiliste na svetu" (My Country Is the Biggest Construction-Site in the World Now) (transcript of the interview by Mirjana Markovic to Famiglia Cristiana), Politika, October 20, 1999, p. 5. 8 On September 21, in the course of a protest march in Kragujevac, an unknown person broke a window at the building of the District Headquarters. (See Z. Radovanovic, "Organizovali neprijavljene skupove u pokretu" (Organized Gatherings in Movement Without a Prior Notification), Danas, November 20-21, 1999, p. 14.) During the demonstrations in Cacak on October 1, a window at the local SPS headquarters was broken. (See "Jedno staklo, dve prijave" (One Glass, Two Charges), Glas Javnosti, October 7, 1999, p.2). On October 2, after a rally in the center of Belgrade, somebody threw a Molotov cocktail at the municipal office of the SRS in Zemun, 10 kilometers away. (D.D., "Radikali optuzuju SZP, DS odbacuje odgovornost" (Radicals Accuse Alliance for Change, DS Denies Responsibility), Danas, October 4, 1999, p. 5.) On October 14 in Nis, an individual from the Alliance for Change demonstrators threw a stone at a bus driving supporters of Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, who that day was on an official visit to the city. (Z. Miladinovic, "Specijalci razdvajali pristalice SZP i SPS" (Special Police Separated SZP and SPS Supporters), Danas, October 15, 1999, p.3.). 9 See below, Physical violence against opposition party activists, and Bogoljub Arsenijevic. 10 See below, Bomb explosion at the house of the DS president in Valjevo. 11 See below, Armed assaults upon opposition premises. 12 See below, Assassination of Slavko Curuvija, Car incident or murder?, and Djindjic alleges assassination threat.
13 Zoran Miladinovic, "Vlast zamazuje oci upropascenim gradjanima" (Government Blinds the Citizens Brought to Disaster), Danas, March 12, 1999.
14 The transcript of the commentary can be found in "O Djukanovicu i Djindjicu" (On Djukanovic and Djindjic), Dan (Podgorica), May 16, 1999, p. 9.
15 "Prodane duse Djukanovic i Djindjic" (Sold Souls: Djukanovic and Djindjic), Politika, May 13, 1999, p. 11.
16 See below, Assassination of Slavko Curuvija.
17 Judgment of the Military Court at the Uzice Military District Command, No. K. 116/99, June 15, 1999 (on file with Human Rights Watch).
18 Miroslav Filipovic, "Vojni poziv zadenut za vrata" (Order to Report for Military Service Hanged at the Door), Danas, July 12, 1999, p. 3.
19 V. Mekterovic, "Zasto nije ratovao Marko Milosevic" (Why Hasn't Marko Milosevic Fought in the War?), Reporter (Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina), July 21, 1999, p. 26.
20 On file with Human Rights Watch.
21 Dragan Todorovic, "Gde se krio Velja Ilic" (Where was Velja Ilic Hiding), Vreme (Belgrade), July 10, p. 6.
22 "Zastrasivanje naroda pred miting" (Intimidation on the Eve of the Rally), Danas, August 19, 1999, p. 3.
23 "Savez za promene teroristicka organizacija" (Alliance for Change - a Terrorist Organization), Danas, August 16, 1999, p. 4.
24 A.M., "Proveravamo sta je Vesna Pesic rekla" (We Are Checking What Mrs. Pesic Said), Danas, August 19, 1999, p. 3.
25 Declaration by the Presidency of the European Union concerning the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, August 19, 1999.
26 M.M., "Bez dokaza" (No Evidence), Glas Javnosti, October 9, 1999, p. 3.
27 "Whoever disseminates false news or statements aimed at causing disquietude among citizens, or at disturbing public order or peace, or at obstructing the enforcement of decisions and measures of state organs and institutions, will be punished by imprisonment of up to three years." Krivicni Zakon Republike Srbije (Penal Code of Republic of Serbia), (Ministry of Justice and Official Gazette eds., Belgrade 1998), article 218 (unofficial translation by Human Rights Watch).
28 President Milutinovic had not appeared in public in the weeks preceding Jokanovic's statement, causing speculation that Milutinovic, one of the five Yugoslav officials indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes committed against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, was looking for ways to dissociate himself from the leadership and reach accommodation with foreign governments and the ICTY.
29 M. Vujovic, "Sudjenje ima politicku pozadinu" (Trial With Political Background), Danas, October 6, 1999. p. 11.
30 "Borka Vucic tuzila Vuka Obradovica" (Borka Vucic Sued Vuk Obradovic), Glas Javnosti, October 15, 1999, p. 7.
31 Social Democracy, the party over which Obradovic presides, quit the alliance on October 22, 1999, rejecting the proposed concept of the alliance's transformation into an election coalition.
32 B.O., "Hapsenje aktivista LSV" (Arrest of LSV Activists), Danas, July 3-4, 1999, p. 5.
33 S. Durmanovic, "Sta (ni)je preporucljivo?" (What Is (Not) Recommended?), Danas, July 9, 1999, p. 11.
34 Human Rights Watch interview with Aleksandar Djukic, DS Information Service, Belgrade, September 14, 1999.
35 "Kamenovane prostorije DS, SPO i DSS u Zajecaru" (Premises of DS, SPO and DSS Stoned in Zajecar), Danas, July 12, 1999, p. 3.
36 "Clanovi JUL-a pretukli aktiviste DS na Terazijama" (Members of JUL Beat DS Activists in Terazije), Vijesti (Podgorica), July 14, 1999, p. 2.
37 DS press release, July 15, 1999.
38 Slobodan Durmanovic, "Svilanovic: Zbog Miloseviceve politike Srbi su danas okuzeni" (Svilanovic: Due To Milosevic's Politics, Serbs Are Nowadays Plagued), Danas, July 27, 1999, p. 3.
39 B.V., "Pokradena DS" (DS Robbed), Glas javnosti, October 6, 1999, p. 7.
40 "Demolirane prostorije DS i SZP u Sremskoj Mitrovici" (DS And Alliance for Change Premises in Sremska Mitrovica Ransacked), Danas, December 13, 1999, p. 24.
41 S.L., "Uzvraticemo istom merom" (We'll Answer Tit for Tat), Danas, July 17-18, 1999, p. 3.
42 Serbia is divided into twenty-seven districts, the heads of which are appointed by the government and operate as its arms in each region.
43 Five individuals were convicted and sentenced to eight-month prison sentences on September 6, 1999. "Petorici demonstranata po osam mjeseci zatvora" (Eight Months in Prison for Five Demonstrators), Vijesti, September 7, 1999, p. 3.
44 See below, Prosecution of NGO Activists and Intellectuals: Dobrosav Nesic and Council for Human Rights in Leskovac.
45 Elena Grujic and Vojkan Ristic, "Gest vredan mesec dana zatvora" (Gesture Worth One Month of Imprisonment), Vreme, July 10, 1999, p. 3.
46 Zoran Rakic, "Zalba putuje u Zenevu" (Appeal Travels to Geneva), Danas, December 8, 1999, p. 13. Similarly, Yugoslav human rights groups have noticed that in cases of private charges against policemen who overstep their competence, public attorneys as a rule refrain from prosecution. See Belgrade Center of Human Rights, Human Rights in Yugoslavia 1998 (Vojin Dimitrijevic ed., Belgrade, 1999), p. 239; see also Humanitarian Law Center, Spotlight Report No. 28: Human Rights in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1998 Report (Belgrade, 1999), p. 18. A charge against a prominent member of the ruling party represents a comparable case.
47 "SPS u Prokuplju pozvala clanstvo na kontramiting" (SPS in Prokuplje Invited its Membership to a Counter-Rally), Vijesti, July 7, 1999, p. 4.
48 See Human Rights Watch press release, Police Violence in Serbia Condemned, September 30, 1999.
49 Steven Erlanger, "Police Disrupt March to Milosevic's House," New York Times, September 30, 1999.
50 S. Cosic, "Protestne setnje na Dedinje ugrozavaju zivot politicara" (Protest Marches to Dedinje Endanger the Life of Politicians), Danas, October 1, 1999, p. 3.
51 Orlic was released the following day, as the misdemeanor judge found no evidence of any violation of law on his part.
52 Law on Citizens' Gatherings (1992), article 6 (2).
53 "Yugoslav Police Attack Protesters," AP, September 30, 1999.
54 "Preksinoc troje demonstranata tesko povredjeno" (Three Demonstrators Seriously Injured Two Nights Ago), Danas, October 2-3, 1999, p.8.
55 Human Rights Watch interview with O.R., Belgrade, October 17, 1999.
56 "Bejzbol palicama po okupljenim `setacima'" (Baseball Bats against the `Marchers'), Danas, October 14, p. 12.
57 "Odgovornost Jovice Bosnica, nacelnika SUP-a Novi Beograd" (Responsibility of Jovica Bosnic, Head of New Belgrade Police), Danas, October 15, 1999, p. 11.
58 Human Rights Watch interview with Ivan Marovic, Belgrade, November 16, 1999.
59 "Efikasnom intervencijom policije uspostavljen javni red i mir" (Public Order and Peace Established by an Efficient Police Intervention), Politika, November 11, 1999, p. 15.
60 Human Rights Watch interview with Ivan Marovic.
61 Z. Miladinovic, "Molotovljev koktel zapalio sediste demokrata u Nisu" (Molotov Cocktail Caused Fire in the Democrats' Seat in Nis), Danas, November 22, 1999, p. 4. The local branch of the SPS condemned the assault and observed that five days earlier unknown individuals broke a glass portal at the entrance to the party's offices. Ibid.
62 M.Z.D., "Motovoljev koktel na kucu aktiviste SZP" (Molotov Cocktail at the House of an Alliance for Change Activist), Danas, January 10, 2000, p. 10.
63 M.Z.D., "Pucano u prostorije Gradjanskog otpora" (A Shot at the Premises of the Civic Resistance), Danas, January 11, 2000, p. 28.
64 M.T., "I dalje stampamo bilten" (We Keep Printing the Bulletin), Glas Javnosti, October 19, 1999, p. 2 (report from a press conference by Slavoljub Kacarevic).
65 "Jos 1.208.000 dinara kazne" (Additional 1,208,000 Dinars of Punishment), Danas, November 11, 1999, p. 13.
66 Z.B., "Necu da platim" (I Won't Pay), Glas Javnosti, October 29, 1999, p. 5.
67 The actions included, among others, a public expression of condolences to Slobodan Milosevic after the death of the Croatian president Franjo Tudjman, whose authoritarian rule in many respects mirrored Milosevic's; parody of the government's "post-war reconstruction-of-bridges campaign"; distribution of bread to pensioners in Kragujevac during the visit of the Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic; and the organization of a mass New Year's Eve party by the Julian calendar (January 14) at the central square in Belgrade, ending at midnight due to the "absence of anything to celebrate in Serbia."