Serbia Lags In Protection Of Human Rights

Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe told the Serbian newspaper, B-92, he was disappointed in the lack of progress within its country in dealing with issues of freedom of speech, discrimination against minorities, a corrupt and brutal police system and a judiciary system that does not meet standards of honesty and effectiveness. He was particularly upset at the prevalence of intolerance and hate speech that is heard too often in public places like the media.

He said Serbia has a cluster of human rights problems which certainly could be helped if the court system was more honest and the police less brutal. He stated bluntly,”it is necessary to review the functioning of the entire justice system.” He told the Serbian government of the displeasure on the part of the European Union to a prison system that is over-crowded and poorly run. Of course, until Serbia resolves its issues with Kosovo, there will be fertile ground for nationalist extremists to preach hate toward minorities.