Committee Sittings outside of the National Assembly Seat

Novi Sad

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

17th Sitting of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee

At the sitting held on 21 October, in the building of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, the members of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee discussed public security in the Republic of Serbia following the incidents at the Serbia-Albania football match on 14 October 2014.


21 October 2014 17th sitting of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee at the building of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina

21 October 2014 17th sitting of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee at the building of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina

The members of the Security Committee of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina also took part in the sitting.

The sitting was attended by Minister of Interior Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic, Chief of Police Milorad Veljovic, Head of the Ministry of Interior Police Directorate Zoran Alimpic and Head of the Novi Sad Police Directorate Sinisa Radakovic.

Committee Chairperson Marija Obradovic denounced the recent incidents and attacks on property belonging to national minorities deeming them an unacceptable act of intolerance to fellow citizens of different nationalities.

Minister of Interior Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic informed the Committee members that, following the incidents at the Serbia-Albania football match on 14 October 2014, as many as 23 buildings owned by members of the Albanian national minority have been damaged on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. He said that the perpetrators were caught after investigation and found to be mostly minors. Minister Stefanovic expects the police to fully investigate each of said criminal offenses.

The members of the two committees deemed it of paramount importance that the relevant social factors focus on preventing juvenile delinquency, also discussing the role of the courts and the media in situations such as this. They opined that the cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and the AP Vojvodina Security Council should be re-established.

After the debate, the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee adopted the following conclusions:

Cultivating differences is one of the highest values and goals of our society, as is the duty to allow national minorities to cultivate their differences in a safe environment, aware that they belong to the community of all the nations in Serbia.

Therefore, the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee joins the denouncement of the attacks to the property belonging to national minorities resulting from the discontent after the Serbia-Albania football match on 14 October 2014

The Committee commends the swift and concrete action of the Ministry of Interior on identifying the attackers and discovering the surrounding circumstances of these crimes, but expects and asks all the relevant state bodies to, in the epilogue of these cases, clearly show that the state is ready and determined to tackle all hate-crimes against national minorities no matter what form said hate assumes.

Serbia belongs to its citizens and security is a key requisite for the development and prosperity of the state itself, as well as all social groups and individuals.

The fact that the attackers discovered so far are almost exclusively minors and young people just come of age shows that repression in these cases is the last, but necessary measure and that the state must evidently approach the matter from a preventive aspect, through a comprehensive, multi-sector approach.

Therefore, the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee once again appeals to the citizens for restraint and patience when it comes to expressing displeasure especially toward other members of the community, appeals to the media to help create a more tolerant social atmosphere and asks all the state authorities to secure a safe living environment for all the citizens of the Republic of Serbia.

The sitting was held with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), via project Strengthening the Oversight Role and Transparency of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

The sitting was chaired by Marija Obradovic, Committee Chairperson.

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Committee meetings outside the headquarters of the National Assembly are being organized and this sub-site has been produced with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), as part of the project "Strengthening the oversight role and publicity in the work of the National Assembly." The views and content on this subpage do not necessarily represent the views of UNDP and the SDC.