Organizations which support and promote Nazism, racism and chauvinism are becoming ever more present and more aggressive in Serbia. Unlawful assemblies, in which they are spreading hatred and intolerance, are being held daily and the police department is not banning them. Websites whose contents represent criminal offenses (Krv i čast, Stormfront, Nacionalni stroj, 1389, Naši) are being tolerated.

These organizations’ activities are apparently directed against nongovernmental organizations which promote and defend human rights. In a perverted way, the defenders of human right are imputed with a swastika, which symbolizes Nazism, by Nazi and racist organizations.

The state and especially its highest institutions have got to realize that the actions of these organizations are directed against it, and that the state must be defended. The state has sanctioned legal instruments for this defense and has to implement them.

The Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia prohibits conduct that incites national, racial and religious hatred and intolerance. The Social Organizations and Associations of Citizens Act prohibits the state to register associations, and it instructs it to prohibit the operation of organizations which are spreading racial, national and religious hatred and intolerance or are forcing citizens to declare their nationality or ethnicity.

In 2003, the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems was approved. It provides a clear definition of racist and xenophobic materials.

If this administration is truly promoting a lawful state, the constitution, on which all of the state’s high officials have sworn upon their honor, if it seriously considers developing and protecting democracy, its agencies would have to apply the current legislations of Serbia and ratify the international documents which concern practicing, protecting and promoting democracy, lawful state and human rights.  At this time, however, the stat is acting as if it does not have enough energy to defend and protect itself, as if it is not even aware that it is under attack.

The citizens of Serbia have to strongly demand that the competent authorities, especially the deputies in the National Assembly, public prosecutor’s office, courts, police and the President, within their jurisdiction:

Commence a criminal prosecution of individuals who are inducing and spreading racial, national and religious hatred and intolerance;

Prohibit public gatherings at which racial, national and religious hatred and intolerance is promoted, and human rights of opponents are breached;

Urgently adopt laws and other legal acts which prohibit discrimination;

Ratify the Convention and the Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems of the European Council,

The state is not private property of those who presently occupy its highest offices. The state has to be defended, even when its officials do not have enough strength for doing that. The defense of the state must not be in the hands of private citizens. This state has allowed to be attacked by private individuals and noninstitutional groups, and has done virtually nothing about it.

The legal means of defense are important and necessary. But they are not sufficient. Nazi, racist and chauvinistic verbal violence, which is turning into a threat of physical violence, has to be stopped by legal, political and other democratic means.

Do the deputies, the Speaker of the National Parliament, the President, the prime minister, the president of the Supreme Court still think that they should not publicly call for an urgent discontinuation of spreading hatred in Serbia?

If the state does not take the necessary steps, at some moment the citizens will. And at that moment the institutional democracy ceases to exist.

The Undersigned

1.   Svetlana Lukić
2.   Svetlana Vuković
3.   Vesna Rakić – Vodinelić
4.   Vesna Pešić
5.   Mirjana Miočinović
6.   Latinka Perović
7.   Mirko Đorđević
8.   Srđa Popović
9.   Petar Luković
10. Predrag Koraksić Corax
11. Biljana Srbljanović
12. Biljana Kovačević – Vučo
13. Biljana Stojković
14. Olivera Milosavljević
15. Nadežda Milenković
16. Borka Pavićević
17. Sonja Biserko
18. Miljenko Dereta
19. Teofil Pančić
20. Ivan Čolović
21. Miša Brkić
22. Milutin Petrović
23. Nikola Samardžić
24. Žarko Korać
25. Vojin Dimitrijević
26. Miroslav Prokopijević
27. Pavle Rak
28. Laslo Vegel
29. Vera Marković
30. Ivan Kuzminović
31. Milan Vukomanović
32. Miloš Ćirić
33. Lana Budimlić
34. Tamara Kaliterna
35. Vlada Milovanović – Biro
36. Jasna Bogojević
37. Vladimir Todorić
38. Dimitrije Boarov
39. Dušan Bogdanović
40. Vladimir Gligorov
41. Ivan Torov
42. Dubravka Stojanović
43. Svetlana Slapšak
44. Predrag Ž. Vajagić
45. Ljubomir Živkov
46. Željko Bodrožić
47. Nenad Prokić
48. Dušan Jevtović
49. Ivica Pavlović
50. Olivera Petronić
51. Nenad Mandić
52. Snežana Filipović
53. Bojana Bulatović
54. Velimir Ćurgus Kazimir

Pešč, 02.10.2008.