Letter to President Tadic| 27/01/2012
Gospodin Boris Tadić
Predsednik Republike Srbije
Andrićev Venac 1
11000 Beograd, Republika Srbija
Dear Mr. President,
please find below a note of protest against the dismissal of Sreten Ugričić which has been signed in the last few days by numerous friends and colleagues who joined the protest from all over Europe.
We as well heard about the Conference of all European National Librarians CENL in Paris having signed another call to Your Government to reconsider this decision. The CENL call was handed over to Your honorable Ambassador in France. We deeply welcome this expression of respect which Sreten Ugričić enjoys among all his European colleagues.
With due respect yours sinerely
(Director Belgrade office)
Note of Protest
We have been informed that the Government of the Republic of Serbia has decided to dismiss the writer Sreten Ugričić from his office as Director of Narodna Biblioteka Srbije.
We also learned that the background of this decision lies in the fact that Sreten Ugričić signed a petition of support for his Montenegrin colleague, the writer and journalist Andrej Nikolaidis, after a text of Nikolaidis had been discussed in the Serbian media in a misleading way.
Among all the signatories of the petition of the “Forum of Writers” Sreten Ugričić had been the only one who accounted for his signature through a statement, which in the meantime is also accessible to the Serbian public. There he explains his vote given for Andrej Nikolaidis as a vote “for the protection and the respect of the intellectual, human and democratic rights of Andrej Nikolaidis and in favor of his personal safety and integrity”.
Sreten Ugričić, in his statement, wisely makes clear that – even if Nikolaidis’ text may provide a “reason for controversy”, this by no means justifies the campaign which has been launched in Serbian media. This is why he gives higher priority to the protection of the authors’ rights.
Sreten Ugričić is an outstanding Serbian writer and he is serving his country, the Republic of Serbia, in his office as director of the National Library in as well an outstanding way. His expertise as a librarian enjoys the highest recognition among his international colleagues.
We, the undersigned, cannot find any reason in either the petition of the Serbian “Forum of Writers” or in the personal statement of Sreten Ugričić explaining his signature of the petition, which might in any way justify his dismissal from the position where he was working since years for the benefit of the society of Serbia.
We express our deep disagreement with the decision of the Government of Serbia. It is certainly not a decision in favor of the Serbian readers and researchers and the entire intellectual community of that country.
Melinda Nadj Abonji, Writer – Switzerland
Jean Arnault, Editor in Chief, Courrier des Balkans, Paris – France
Tamara Apić, Serbica Books d.o.o., Novi Sad
Serbica Books / South East Europe Books, Toronto, Canada
Patrick Apić, Serbica Books / South East Europe Books, Toronto – Canada
Kristof Bender, Deputy Chairman, European Stability Initiative, Berlin – Germany
Prof. Dr. Florian Bieber, Direktor, Zentrum für Südosteuropastudien, Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz – Austria
Dr. Alida Bremer, S. Fischer Stiftung / Traduki, Berlin – Germany
Prof. Dr. Thomas Bremer, Imre Kertesz Kolleg Jena / Universitat Munster – Germany
Dr. Hansjorg Brey, Executive Director, Southeast Europe Association, Munich – Germany
Senad Čišija, Director, Kakanj Public Library, Kakanj – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Dr. Karin Clark, Former Writers in Prison Chair International PEN, London United Kingdom / Current board member Heinrich-Boell-Haus, Langenbroich – Germany
Dr. Konrad Clewing, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), University of Regensburg – Germany
Edina Djurković, Humanitarian Law Center, Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Jasmina Drugović, Director, Visoko Public Library – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Dragan Golubović, Head of INFOBIRO digital archive, INFOBIRO, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzgovina
Prof. Dr. Axel Honneth, Institute for Scoial Research, Frankfurt Germany
Midhat Kasap, Director, Zenica Public Library, Zenica – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Ann Kennard, Chair, Balkans Peace Park Project Committee UK and Visiting Research Fellow University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
Dr. Ernst Kohler, Historian, Konstanz – Germany
Wolfgang Klotz, Director, Fondacija Hajnrih Bel, Beograd – Serbia
Beata Klotz, CEO, Central and Eastern European Online Library, Frankfurt – Germany
Timm Kohler, PR-officer, balkan black box festival Berlin – Germany
Sabina Maličbegović, Žepče Public Library, Žepče – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Nicholas Oliver, Curriculum Manager, Wyggeston & QE1 College, Leicester, United Kingdom
Predrag Paul Pajić, Chairman and Secretary General of the Board, The Democracy International, United States of America
Prof. Sabrina P. Ramet, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim – Norway
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Roth, Schroubek-Fonds, University of Munich – Germany
Mirela Rožajac-Zulčić, Librarian, Law Faculty, University of Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Mag. Barbara Sax, Fachbibliothek Slawistik, Universität Graz – Austria
Prof. Wolfgang Schmale, Full Professor of History, University Vienna – Austria
Prof. Dr. Oliver Schmitt, Vorstand, Institut für osteuropaische Geschichte, 1090 Wien – Austria
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Director of Leipzig University Library, Leipzig – Germany
Prof. Daniel Serwer, Johns Hopkins University, United States of America
Stijepo Pavlina, Social Worker, Caritas Migrants’ Service, Berlin – Germany
Johano Strasser, President, German P.E.N., Darmstadt – Germany
Dr. Hans-Jakob Tebarth, Director, Stiftung Martin-Opitz-Bibliothek, Herne – Germany
Ivana Teronić, Librarian, Law Faculty, University of Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzgovina
Herbert Wiesner, General Secretary, German P.E.N., Darmstadt – Germany
Dr. Insa Wilke, Programmleitung, Literaturhaus Köln e.V. – Köln – Germany
Dr. Gudrun Wirtz, Leiterin der Osteuropa-Abteilung, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München – Germany
Antonia Young, President, Balkans Peace Park Project Committee, United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Tanja Zimmermann, University of Konstanz – Germany
Heinrich Böll Stiftung, 27.01.2012.