For the Serbian society, the tragic death of the young Frenchman Bris Taton should serve as a final warning that fascization is in full swing and that citizens, the same as governmental institutions, should start coping with it seriously. One cannot but be worried over the fact that this tragic death is only a natural outcome of the policy of non-impunity and the regime’s incapability to take stock of Milosevic’s legacy. Greater Serbia aspirations have been rehabilitated ever since Premier Djindjic’s assassination. Younger generations, raised on the model of the warring propaganda of 1980s and 1990s, are the biggest victims of such policy. The matrix of public discourse – whereby minorities, neighbors, EU and USA, actually everything different and nonuniform is treated as hostile – remained the same.
Serbia’s democratic and pro-European forces, including the incumbent government, are on the defensive. They have failed to adequately name Serbia’s problems, while always insisting on consequences rather than on their causes.
The conservative bloc plays on the government’s and institutions’ weaknesses, intent to induce early elections and thus slow down or annul Serbia’s endeavor to move closer towards European integrations.
It is of major importance, therefore, that not only state bodies but also all the citizens of Serbia raise their voices against violence we are facing on daily basis. This is not only about a bad image such tragic incidents are giving Serbia internationally but about us above all – and about a threat to each and every citizens of this country.
Apart from the state’s resoluteness to implement the law, Serbia needs a comprehensive social campaign against the legacy of Milosevic’s policy – because this is the legacy that still generates xenophobia, social autism, isolationism and anti-Westerism.
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, 29.09.2009.