The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has responded six months after the Serbian public learned about the intention of the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering to check the accounts of numerous public figures, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media outlets, saying that it was “an ill-founded control,” according to website Raskrikavanje.rs.
On Jan. 26, the website published that the same conclusion had been drawn by U.N. human rights experts, who had said that “Serbia is abusing counter-terrorism laws to undermine and restrict the work of the NGO sector.”
“FATF has established that Serbia, according to international standards, has no right to seek such data without reasonable suspicion that an organization is engaged in financing terrorism,” according to the site, which is a part of Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) project.
This conclusion was made last month, after the U.N. human rights experts had addressed them in relation to this case. In November 2020, U.N. experts said they were worried that Serbia had abused its authorities to gain data about those monitoring the government’s work for to suppress freedom of speech, according to Raskrinkavanje.rs.