BCHR files 32 criminal charges against Serbia’s police for use of force

Tanjug/Tara Radovanović

The Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BHRC) said it filed 32 criminal charges against police officers for excessive use of force during the anti-government protests in the country.

 Addressing the National Coalition for Decentralisation online debate ‘Protest Justice in Summary Proceedings’ Vladica Ilic of the Center said that legal and medical documentation was provided for 18 people as well as reports which recorded their injuries and traces of police nightsticks “where they shouldn’t be – on their heads and faces.”

Besides data collected by Centre for Investigative Journalism in Serbia (CINS), Ilic added, there were no data from the Interior Ministry (MUP) about the number of detained people during several protests across the country.

The MUP’s Department for Execution of Criminal Sanctions said that 59 people were brought to its institutions, Ilic said.

He also said that the courts ruled in urgent procedures and what was especially apparent were “the strict punishments without particular explanation and the fact that only police officers’ testimonies were taken into account.”

The Center filed a criminal charge for every single case and initiated a procedure with the country’s Ombudsman.