Report on Serbian police brutality at 2020 protests presented

NEWS 07.07.202114:42

The Belgrade Center for Human Rights released its report on police brutality during the protests in Belgrade in July 2020, saying that very few of the reported cases were resolved.

Center Executive Director Sonja Toskovic told the presentation that 35 criminal charges had been filed with the prosecution in Belgrade and Novi Sad against 70 unidentified police officers who used excessive force against members of the public. “There is no epilogue in any of those cases. All the proceedings are still at investigation stage except in one case in Novi Sad (when police officers beat a child),” she said.

Center criminal justice Coordinator Vladica Ilic said that the Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP) Internal Affairs Sector was passive and added that he was concerned over the fact that Internal Affairs investigators handed all the charges to the police, obstructing the investigation by informing the people under investigation allowing them to coordinate their statements. Ilic said that investigators did not invest any great effort to collect video recordings, mainly relying of statements from police officers.

Report author Luka Mihajlovic said that some police personnel reported having used force at the time and place when members of the public were beaten but that one of their superiors told investigators that the use of force was justified and legal.

The presentation ended with a protest march to the Serbian parliament.