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Investigations

Following the procedures of control of the legality and regularity of the work of the Communal Police the Ombudsman conducted in regard to the body’s treatment of the "Istinomer" website’s team of journalists on 25 September 2015 and of the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK)’s team of journalists on 21 October 2015 , the Ombudsman sent a public recommendation for the dismissal of Nikola Ristić ,the Chief of Communal Police of the City of Belgrade. A public recommendation was sent due to an established responsibility for violations of the rights of citizens who have caused damage on a large scale and due to repeated refusal of cooperation with the Ombudsman in control procedures.
The Ombudsman found there were drawbacks in the way the Communal Police of the City of Belgrade treated KRIK’s team of journalists on 21 October 2015, the most significant of which related to the illegal seizure of objects and deleting images from the camera. The Chief of Municipal Police unlawfully prevented the recording of treatment given by the Communal police, while giving false information about the seizure of items during control procedure, which is in apparent contradiction with the content of audio-video recording of the event available to the public.

Instead of complying with the request for access to information of public importance in the legally prescribed period and providing the requested information to "Transparency Serbia" organization, the Ministry of Economy delayed the whole process, and then incorrectly showed that the requested information on "Smederevo Ironworks" were protected and therefore could not be delivered. The Ministry also did not allow the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection to inspect the documents requested by "Transparency Serbia", and did not further act on his decision on the submission of the requested data, of which the Commissioner informed the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman found that not even the certainty of payment of fines that the Ministry of Economy eventually paid in the amount of 200,000 dinars, made this body comply with the law.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Following the recommendation given by the Protector of Citizens in the Report of the Visit to the Preševo Reception Centre in September 2015, which was repeated in December of the same year during a visit to that institution, the competent authorities have erected a canopy at the entrance to the Centre which shelters refugees from precipitation while they stand in the line for registration.

The Protector of Citizens welcomes this improvement in the conditions of acceptance of refugees who transit through Serbia.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development has complied well ahead of schedule with the recommendations of the Protector of Citizens concerning the procedure for filing petitions and granting authorisation to change the name of a public primary school in Novi Pazar.

The response provided by the Ministry states a Draft Decision to authorise the Change of School Name has been prepared and that authority has initiated a procedure to supplement its Information Booklet with information that would significantly improve the procedure of filing petitions for authorisation to change school names, as well as the criteria for evaluating the justifiability of the reasons provided in such petitions.

Friday, 8 January 2016
The Protector of Citizens has found that the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media has not taken action against the national broadcaster RTS1 for making children identifiable in a report on children placed in the sole custody of one parent after their parents’ divorce, which was broadcast in the central news programme “TV Journal 2” and posted on the RTS website. Quite apart from the fact that this programme constituted a clear violation of the duty to protect minors and respect personal dignity, it also provided information on a lawsuit concerning family matters, from which the public should be excluded in accordance with the law.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016
The Protector of Citizens has received a number of complaints from parents and children against the Secretariat for Education and Childcare of the City Administration of Belgrade (“Secretariat”). The complainants alleged their children had been subjected to violence in educational institutions and the educational institutions had not undertaken measures against violence, while the Secretariat’s Educational Inspectorate had not correctly and fully found all relevant facts.

After conducting an investigation into the lawfulness and regularity of operations of the Secretariat, taking into account the allegations made in the complaints and their supplements, a statement made by that authority, statements made by primary and secondary schools, a report by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the supplied documentation, the Protector of Citizens found that the Secretariat:

- had not fully and correctly investigated in its extraordinary inspections whether educational institutions had properly applied the regulations which govern the education process and provide for the protection of children and pupils from violence, abuse and neglect;

- had not ordered (appropriate) action to remedy the omissions and their harmful consequences;

- had not found all facts relevant for determining whether the inspected educational institutions had undertaken remedial measures as ordered;

- had not acted as required by statute in cases where educational institutions failed to comply with its orders.

The Protector of Citizens issued 79 recommendations to the Secretariat and ordered it to respond and provide information on its compliance with the recommendations within 60 days.

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Municipality of Batočina has not undertaken measures to maintain the water course for flood prevention purposes and has failed to ensure the recovery from last year’s floods. The Protector of Citizens has found that the municipal authorities treated unfairly those complainants who voiced their dissatisfaction with the work of the Municipality.

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