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b_280_0_16777215_00_images_Zatitnik_graana_3.jpegThe Protector of Citizens denied the allegations of the "Belgrade Center for Human Rights" that he had declined the initiative of this citizens’ association to, as they stated, "ex officio determine the reasons and possible omissions of competent institutions in the health care system" and issued a rebuttal of such allegations.

The rebuttal notice follows in its entirety:

The allegations of the "Belgrade Center for Human Rights" expressed in their statement that the Protector of Citizens declined the Center’s initiative to “determine ex officio in the control investigation the reasons and possible omissions of the competent institutions in the health care system…“ are a downright falsehood.

With complete understanding that citizens and citizens' associations are under no obligation to know the legal terminology and all laws, the Protector of Citizens primarily indicates that the notion "ex officio" is unknown to both the Law on the Protector of Citizens and the Institution of the Protector of Citizens.

The Law on the Protector of Citizens strictly specifies that the Protector of Citizens initiates investigations upon citizens' complaints or on own initiative. While individuals and citizens' associations may attach themselves special importance within a society, it does not bind the Protector of Citizens, since this institution has the same attitude towards everyone - either citizens or citizens' associations.

The allegation that the Protector of Citizens, as stated by the BCHR, declined the initiative of this citizens’ association, is another falsehood. The truth is that it instructed the BCHR to, pursuant to the Law on the Protector of Citizens, exhaust all legal remedies prior to filing a complaint to the Protector of Citizens.

The Protector of Citizens presumes that that the reply regarding the received initiative fell into unprofessional hands and therefore reiterates that Article 25 of the Law on the Protector of Citizens stipulates that, before addressing the Protector of Citizens, the complainant is obliged to attempt to protect his/her rights in appropriate legal proceedings.

Considering that the Protector of Citizens operates only and solely pursuant to the Law and not pursuant to affinities and animosities, he once again indicates that this would be the only legal way and urges the "Belgrade Center for Human Rights" to act in this way regarding its initiative.

Pursuant to the Law on Public Information and Media, which specifies that the interest of the public is to hear all parties, the Protector of Citizens expects that you publish this reply to Belgrade Center for Human Rights’ allegations on the web page of your media outlet.