Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Recent Reports 
 Support HRW 
About HRW
Site Map
Human Rights Watch - Home Page



To the Government of Serbia:

* Ensure that governmental officials and the state media cease threatening and harassing opposition parties and politicians;

* Review the criminal convictions and charges which appear to be based solely on protected political activity and/or association, including the cases identified in this report, and take steps to remedy any abuse of justice;

* Launch an inquiry into the beating of opposition demonstrators at the September 29 and 30, 1999, protests, and student demonstrators at the November 9 march, make public the inquiry's findings, and initiate disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings against those found responsible;

* Cease the practice of beating peaceful demonstrators to disperse them and ensure that the perpetrators of such beatings are brought to justice; ensure that all law enforcement bodies comply with international standards governing policing, including the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979), including the prohibition of the use of force, except when strictly necessary;

* Carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the murder of Slavko Curuvija, director of the daily Dnevni telegraf and the magazine Evropljanin. Human Rights Watch recalls that on May 7, 1999, the Serbian deputy information minister stated that the authorities would soon give a full account of the assassination; as the investigation has produced no result, Human Rights Watch calls on the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry, comprised of impartial, competent, and independent individuals, in accord with the U.N. Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (1989);

* Establish a similar investigative mechanism for the October 3, 1999, accident in which four colleagues and bodyguards of Vuk Draskovic were killed;

* Cease the practice of police interrogations ("informative talks") solely for the purpose of harassment, to which members of opposition parties, human rights defenders, and student activists are routinely subjected, in violation of the Yugoslav law on criminal procedure;

* Rescind the draconian 1998 Public Information Law, which serves as a basis for the persecution of the independent media, and prepare new media laws and regulations.

To the Governments of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY):

* Create conditions conducive to the holding of free and fair elections, required by law to take place in 2000, and respect and implement the results thereof;

* Launch an inquiry into the allegations of torture of Bogoljub Arsenijevic, Bodo Weber, and Steven Pratt, make public the inquiry's findings and bring those deemed responsible for abuse to justice. Human Rights Watch recalls that Yugoslavia ratified the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, on September 10, 1991; under the convention, each State Party is bound to ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation wherever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.

To the United Nations:

* Request that the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression undertake a mission in the FRY with a view to conducting a study on freedom of expression;

* The High Commissioner for Human Rights should continue to monitor closely political trials in Serbia through her office in Belgrade.

To the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

* Deny FRY readmission to the OSCE until clear signs of improvements in the country's human rights record are identified by the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights;

* The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media should continue his efforts to monitor restrictions on freedom of the press in Serbia, intervene in specific cases, and keep the Permanent Council regularly briefed of his findings and recommendations.

To the Council of Europe:

* Increase support for the nongovernmental sector and the independent media, including through exchanges and their participation in Council of Europe seminars, meetings, hearings, and other fora;

* Refuse any consideration of the application for admission to the Council of Europe filed by FRY until there have been significant improvements in the human rights situation, including implementation of the recommendations to the FRY and Serbian authorities contained in this report;

* Council of Europe institutions and representatives should continue their unequivocal condemnation of human rights violations perpetrated against members of nongovernmental organizations, the media, and opposition figures, such as those detailed in this report.

To the European Union:

* Increase support for the nongovernmental sector, independent academics, and independent media;

* Highlight the situation of the nongovernmental sector and media in the work of the Human Rights Working Table of the Southeast Europe Stability Pact and enlist the Working Table to develop a concrete strategy enhancing financial, political, and logistical support for nongovernmental organizations and independent media in FRY;

* Expand the list of Serbian and Yugoslav officials and individuals who are instrumental to the repressive policies of President Milosevic's government, to which the issuance of visas to the European Union member states is prohibited;

* Consider steps to improve implementation of the European Union freeze of the assets of Serbian and Yugoslav officials, until significant improvements in the human rights situation have occurred.

To the United States Government:

* Take steps to reduce the impact of sanctions on municipalities in Serbia in which nongovernmental organizations and independent media operate free of pressure from the local authorities;

* Increase funding for training programs, technical development, and human rights awareness for the nongovernmental sector;

* Increase support for the nongovernmental sector and the independent media, including through exchanges and study tours.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page