Human Rights Watch calls on the Serbian (republican) and Yugoslav (federal) governments to:
· repeal the May 1998 University Act and institute safeguards for university autonomy and academic freedom in Serbia;
· reinstate faculty members who have been fired, suspended, forcibly retired, or otherwise removed from their positions solely for legitimate and peaceful exercise of their rights to free expression, association, and assembly;
· restore the academic standing of students suspended for peacefully protesting the law;
· respect internationally recognized guarantees of free expression, assembly, and association, including the exercise by professors and students of their rights as citizens to hold opinions without interference and to express their views without fear of expulsion, dismissal, or other forms of retaliation or intimidation;
· in any disciplinary proceedings against teaching staff, ensure that the right to free expression is respected by proceeding only on a case-by-case basis according to the terms of existing employment contracts and, where applicable, existing guarantees of tenure. Such proceedings should be adjudicated by an impartial arbiter, giving the individual professor or teacher involved every opportunity to defend himself or herself according to recognized principles of contract law and due process;
· respect the rights of academics and students to communicate their views freely to the public via the media; prepare new media laws and regulations in full consultation with the independent media in Yugoslavia that guarantee freedom of expression; and
· cease retaliatory arrests and beatings of student activists and adhere at all times to international standards governing the policing of civilian protest.
Human Rights Watch calls on the United Nations to:
· urge the special rapporteur on the former Yugoslavia to make a priority of regularly monitoring laws and regulations governing the universities, the media, and free expression in Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, report publicly on his findings, develop specific recommendations for reform, and raise this issue in the context of discussions regarding the former Yugoslavia at the upcoming Commission on Human Rights; and
· urge the recently expanded mission in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) of the high commissioner for human rights, in cooperation with the special rapporteur, to exert and maintain pressure on the government to repeal the 1998 university law and other legislation that violates freedom of expression.
Human Rights Watch calls on the international community, including the European Union and the United States, to:
· discuss the issues and recommendations raised in this report in bilateral and multilateral meetings with Yugoslav government officials, and emphasize the importance of Yugoslavia respecting its international human rights obligations, including the right to free expression and assembly;
· provide assistance to Yugoslavias civil society, especially local nongovernmental organizations and the independent media; and
· fund international academic exchanges and facilitate continued access for Serbian academics to professional materials and publications.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Council of Europe to:
· make any future consideration of FRYs pending membership application contingent on establishment of guarantees for academic freedom and free expression; and
· insist that the Parliamentary Assembly direct the relevant committee specifically to assess restrictions on academic freedom in Serbia.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to:
· make the readmission of the long-term observer mission a precondition to FRY readmission to the OSCE, and ensure that the duties of the mission include regular monitoring of laws and regulations governing universities, the media, and free expression in Serbia.
Human Rights Watch calls on members of the international academic community to:
· continue to send individual letters and institutional declarations of protest to Yugoslav President Milosevic, Serbian Education Minister Todorovic, Serbian President Milutinovic, and Rector Jagos Puric of the University of Belgrade;
· provide moral and material support to academic colleagues in Belgrade affected by the crackdown, and to students arrested and beaten for expressing their views;
· donate textbooks, subscriptions to scientific journals, and other teaching and research materials to independent academic organizations such as the Alternative Academic Educational Network (AAEN), a nonprofit organization formed by professors in response to the assault on university autonomy;
· support the activities of the AAEN in academic programs as visiting professors, or as temporary lecturers;
· invite fired or suspended professors for semester- or year-long sabbaticals at universities outside of Yugoslavia; and
· mobilize professional academic organizations worldwide to lobby the Yugoslav and Serbian governments to repeal the university law and reestablish academic freedom in the country.