Belgrade: Professors Send Open Letter in Defense of Arrested

A group of professors from the University of Belgrade together with other people from the world of culture sent an open letter expressing concern over the announcement that the six people arrested in Belgrade will be charged with international terrorism. The professors criticize the "political background of the double standards" applied in this case. However they pointed out that this doesn't mean they support the act of vandalism at the Greek Embassy. The signatorees referred to protests on 21 February 2008, years after the declaration of independence by Kosovo. Then the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade was substantially damaged by fire and one person was killed. Nobody was accused of a serious crime in this case. In contrast, the Serbian state authorities characterize damaging a window with the help of two petrol bombs which failed to ignite as an act of "international terrorism". The signatorees say that the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia needs to be updated. They also mention the criminal responsibility of those who committed genocide and war crimes. The teachers and public figures have expressed concern about the different positions law enforcement has taken on the two cases and with the current government policy efforts to improve their rating with the nationalist wing of the electorate. They stated: "This has the effect of fostering and strengthening the chauvinistic and extreme-right tendencies of our society." The complete text of the letter is printed here in the Serbian section of this page.

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 10:11 and is filed under English. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Belgrade: Professors Send Open Letter in Defense of Arrested”

  1. La Idea Says:

    Translated to spanish:
    Un grupo de profesores de la Universidad de Belgrado, junto con otras personas del mundo de la cultura, envió una carta abierta expresando su preocupación por el anuncio de que las seis personas arrestadas en Belgrado serán acusadas de terrorismo internacional.
    Los profesores critican la “situación política de la doble rasero” aplicado en este caso. Sin embargo, señalaron que no apoyan el acto de vandalismo en la embajada griega.
    Los firmantes se refieren a las protestas del 21 de febrero de 2008,después de la declaración de independencia de Kosovo. La Embajada de EE.UU. en Belgrado fue considerablemente dañado por el fuego y una persona murió. Nadie fue acusado de un delito grave en este caso.
    Por contra, las autoridades estatales de Serbia califican a dañar una ventana con la ayuda de dos molotov que no llegaron a prender, como un acto de “terrorismo internacional”.
    Los firmantes defienden que el Código Penal de la República de Serbia debe ser modificado. También mencionan la responsabilidad penal de aquellos que cometen genocidio y crímenes de guerra.
    Los profesores y personalidades públicas firmantes, han expresado su preocupación acerca de la diferente manera en que la ley se ha interpretado en ambos casos y los esfuerzos de la actual política del gobierno para mejorar su imagen con el ala nacionalista del electorado. «Esto tiene el efecto de fomentar y fortalecer las tendencias de extrema derecha de nuestra sociedad”.

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