Prosecuting Anti-Romani Actions in Serbia and Montenegro

07 November 2002

According to the Belgrade-based non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), on July 10, 2002, the Municipal Court in Šabac in western Serbia and Montenegro directed the Krsmanovac Sports and Recreation Centre to publish an apology to three young Roma – Merihana Rustenov, Jordan Vasić and Zoran Vasić – in the daily newspaper Politika, for denying them access to the Centre's swimming pool on July 8, 2000. The decision followed a July 25, 2000, legal action filed by the HLC, in co-operation with the ERRC (background information on the case is available at: Roma barred from sports centre pool in Yugoslavia ). Judge Ljiljana Mijailović-Vuković, in her decision, ordered the Centre to cease its discriminatory practices. On November 4, 2002, the HLC informed the ERRC that it was waiting to hear whether any damages would be awarded to Merihana Rustenov, Jordan Vasić and Zoran Vasić.

In other news, according to a July 9, 2002, press release of the HLC, on July 8, 2002, police officers Dragan Ninković and Goran Krstić were found guilty by the Fifth Municipal Court of Belgrade in connection with the physical assault of a Romani man. However, in yet another inadequate ruling in a case in which the victim was Romani, the officers were sentenced to only three months imprisonment each, after savagely beating Mr Krsta Kalinović on May 7, 1998, for the purpose of extracting information about criminal activity allegedly taking place in his neighbourhood (full details of the assault are available on the ERRC's Internet website at: Romani man beaten by police in Belgrade, Yugoslavia ).



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