Four Years After Protests, Accountability for Police Brutality Yet to be Established | Beta Briefing

Four Years After Protests, Accountability for Police Brutality Yet to be Established

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 08.07.24 | access_time 16:41


The non-governmental organization Belgrade Center for Human Rights cautioned on July 8 that, even four years after the protests that had engulfed Serbia in July 2020, "individual accountability has not been established in any of the many cases of police brutality."

The NGO is warning that due to the passivity of public prosecutors a statute of limitations could run out in those cases, or it already has, making it impossible for courts to prosecute the police officers who physically abused the Serbian citizens. If prosecutors remain passive in these cases, under the Criminal Code of Serbia the prescriptive period for criminal prosecution will expire even before the absolute limitation period does.

"The possibility that criminal prosecution for acts of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, and punishment might become time-barred clashes with Serbia's international legal obligations in this area, for which Serbia has been repeatedly criticized by international supervisory bodies," the Center was explicit in a release.

The NGO underlined that regarding the cases in which the Serbian Ombudsman found that illegal actions by police officers had violated the right to integrity of the person, only one was settled with a final verdict, granting compensation for non-pecuniary damage. Even though the plaintiff experienced the police brutality in front of witnesses, suffering a series of injuries as well, the court awarded the victim an amount equivalent to compensation for a dog bite or a minor fine, the NGO reported.

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