Further to the information and videos from the media which show police officers’ conduct during the protests in the night between 7 and 8 July 2020 in front of and in the vicinity of the National Assembly, and the allegations that the excessive force was used, the Protector of Citizens launched own-initiative investigation to control the legality and regularity of MOI’s work in order to establish all facts and circumstances.
In order to ascertain all facts and circumstances, the representatives of the Secretariat of the Protector of Citizens will carry out today the following actions in the investigation:
- Unannounced visit to Belgrade City Police Administration to interview the detained persons
- Talk to the authorities and get acquainted with the relevant documentation that refers to all facts and circumstances on the night between 7 and 8 July 2020
- Pursuant to Articles 101 and 241 of the Law on Misdemeanors on the publicity of the work of courts, they will attend today's trials at the Misdemeanor Court in Belgrade
- In the following period, they will directly monitor the health condition of all injured persons
The National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and Emergency Response Department of the Protector of Citizens will monitor in the future the police officers’ conduct on site during similar events and directly record possible work illegalities.
The Protector of Citizens reminds that the right to physical integrity and human dignity is among the fundamental human rights, which is why the Republic of Serbia is obliged to carry out the activities and measures to improve the state of affairs in this field.
The Protector of Citizens calls on the members of the Ministry of Interior to exercise police powers and coercive measures in a way that ensures full respect for the right to inviolability of mental and physical integrity and to take all available measures to prevent the occurrence of any form of violence.
While condemning all forms of violence, the Protector of Citizens also appeals to citizens, participants in all assemblies and protests in Serbia to express their views in a peaceful and dignified manner, without conflicts with officials and destruction of property. At the same time, he urges them to address the Protector of Citizens in case of violation of their Constitutionally and legally guaranteed rights.