Suspended Sentences for Police Officers Found Guilty of Torturing Romani Men in Serbia and Montenegro
28 May 2004
On October 8, 2003, the Bačka Topola Municipal Court found Police Inspector Josip Fontanji and Officer Mirko Sivčević guilty of torturing Mr Stevan Brančić and Mr Saša Gojkov, Romani men, in May 2001. In a highly inadequate response to a finding of torture, the Court sentenced them to only eight months and three months in prison respectively, suspended for two years. On May 7, 2001, Inspector Fontanji and Officer Sivčević severely beat Mr Brančić and Mr Gojkov, aged 38 and 27 at the time, respectively, with truncheons for approximately four hours at the Bačka Topola Police Station (background information on the assault is available at: Police beat Roma in Yugoslavia.
At the beginning of December 2003, the ERRC, together with its Belgrade-based partner organisations Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and Minority Rights Center (MRC) filed a civil action seeking compensation from Serbia for Mr Stevan Brančić and Mr Saša Gojkov. (ERRC, HLC, MRC)