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Serbia

    September 16, 2015

    More than 1,000 people, including many families fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, remain stuck in abysmal and rapidly deteriorating conditions along a Serbian motorway after Hungarian authorities closed the border crossing yesterday, Amnesty International said today from Horgoš on the Serbian side.

    Humanitarian organizations, including the UN Refugee Agency, have been virtually absent so far and the Serbian authorities’ only response has been to send a handful of police to the border area. Hundreds of refugees are sleeping rough on a closed motorway, with only ad hoc aid from volunteers and severely restricted access to food, running water or toilets.

    April 07, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST  8 April 2015

    Three years after the forced eviction of more than one hundred Roma families from the Belvil settlement in Belgrade, a toxic combination of bureaucratic incompetence, inertia and discrimination has resulted in the failure of a multi-million euro European Commission (EC) funded project to resettle them. The majority of these families are still living in squalid racially segregated metal containers and around 50 may never be resettled, a new briefing from Amnesty International has found.

    Launched on International Roma Day, the briefing, Roma still waiting for adequate housing, finds that, despite commitments from the City of Belgrade and €3.6 million funding from the EC, not one of the planned new housing blocks has been finished. Meanwhile evicted Roma have spent years living in container settlements far from schools, social services and access to employment.

    July 29, 2014

    Longstanding impunity for crimes against humanity in Kosovo will be challenged after today’s announcement that former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) will be indicted for the abduction, inhumane treatment and killing of Kosovo Serbs and ethnic Albanians believed to oppose the KLA in 1999, Amnesty International said today.

    In a statement for the Special Investigative Task Force, established by the EU, Chief Prosecutor Clint Williamson outlined charges to be brought against senior KLA officials.

    “This is hopefully a step towards justice for the families of up to 400 Kosovo Serbs believed to have been abducted by the KLA, and subsequently transferred to Albania, where they are alleged to have been killed,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s researcher on Kosovo.

    In a welcome move, the Chief Prosecutor recognized the wide-spread and systematic nature of the abductions and murders, and assured that former senior KLA officials will be indicted for crimes against humanity.

    June 16, 2014

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 17 June 2014

    The European Union (EU) must do everything it can to ensure Serbia addresses the culture of impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, committed by Serbian police, military and paramilitary forces during the wars of the 1990s, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    Serbia: Ending Impunity for Crimes under International Law details how and why thousands of victims – across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo - have been denied access to justice. Few have received any reparation or compensation for the violations they endured.   

    “The next few years are crucial in tackling the climate of impunity in Serbia. Time is passing, witnesses are dying and memories are fading. Perpetrators of war crimes must urgently be tried to ensure victims receive justice before it is too late”, said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    September 28, 2013

     The Serbian authorities’ decision to ban the 2013 Belgrade Pride for the third year in a row is a clear breach of the country’s own law and constitution, said Amnesty International. The decision was announced only hours before the march was due to take place.

    “By once again banning the 2013 Belgrade Pride, Serbia’s government is effectively going against its international obligations to guarantee basic rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Serbia,” said Jezerca Tigani, Amnesty International’s deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme. "The Serbian LGBTI community has been let down once again by their government.”

    The Security Coordination Bureau announced the ban late on Friday.  Prime Minister  Ivica  Dacic – who is also minister of the interior - cited alleged serious security concerns, including the safety of citizens and participants, and preservation of public peace as reasons for cancelling the parade.

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