We the undersigned,
citizens of the Republic of Serbia,
demand that the Serbian Government immediately cancels its unconstitutional decision to remove the Director of the Serbian National Library, Sreten Ugricic, which it made solely because he signed the petition of the Writers Forum;
we propose that the Constitutional Court, if the government fails to do so, examines the constitutionality of the controversial decision, since it is in breach of the constitutional provision that “no person may suffer detrimental consequences for opinions stated in a petition or proposal unless they constitute a criminal offense.” (Article 56, paragraph 3, The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia);
we urge other writers, artists and intellectuals in Serbia, regardless of their political position towards the Writers Forum petition itself, to consider the circumstances in which a state official and a cultural worker of impeccable professional record is penalized for publicly stating his personal views, as well as the horrific long-term consequences for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and artistic freedom that such an act may produce;
we feel that one of the primary concerns of the Republic of Serbia is to enable every citizen to have equal rights and freedoms, regardless of his or her position in the country, which is what the Republic of Serbia guarantees in its Constitution;
We want to live in a country where no one will suffer for their views.
January 23, 2011.
The Writers Forum:
You may sign the petition by sending your name at firstname.lastname@example.org