Serbia

Serbia regularly reports data on hate crimes to ODIHR. Serbia’s Criminal Code contains a general penalty-enhancement provision and a substantive offence. The data reported to ODIHR also include cases of incitement to hatred and other hate speech offences. Serbia’s Prosecutor’s Office collects data on hate crime.

Legislation | TANDIS

SELECT YEAR

Official country information

Year Hate crimes recorded by police Prosecuted Sentenced
2015   79 7 19
2014   87 21 14
2013   64 24 16
2012   36 39 37
2011   39 36 24
2010   37 35 13
2009 82 16 44

National developments

A pilot program "Hate crimes - training for the judiciary," was initiated as a part of the continuous training of judges, public prosecutors and assistant prosecutors in late 2015. This was accomplished in co-operation of with the Judicial Academy and the Office for Human and Minority Rights, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.

Eight training seminars on hate crime legislation are planned during 2015 and 2016.

In order to meet the standards of EU Directive 2012/29, the Public Prosecutor's Office established an Information Service for hate crime victims, injured parties and witnesses at the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac. Similar information services were are already in place in Belgrade.

On 22 December 2015, the Public Prosecutor issued a guide that stipulates that the appellate court, and the higher and basic public prosecutor's offices keep separate records of criminal offences that are determined to be hate crimes within the meaning of Article 54a of the criminal code.

Civil society information

Overview of incidents reported by civil society

Bias Motivation Attacks Against People Attacks Against Property
Violent Attacks Threats
Racism and xenophobia207
Bias against Roma and Sinti102
Bias against Muslims001
Bias against Christians and members of other religions002
Bias against LGBT people600
Total9012
Grand Total21

Reports

Racism and xenophobia
  • Praxis reported a physical assault, in which an Iraqi migrant was beaten and stabbed by a group. The Regional Centre for Minorities (RCM) reported a physical assault on an Albanian-speaking Ashkali teenager; and seven incidents of graffiti on buildings and monuments.

Bias against Roma and Sinti
  • The Regional Centre for Minorities (RCM) reported an incident involving two clashing groups; one incident of anti-Roma graffiti on a building; and damage to a car owned by a Roma family, committed by a person who had threatened the same family.

Bias against Muslims
  • SETA reported one incident of graffiti.

Bias against Christians and members of other religions
  • The Regional Centre for Minorities (RCM) reported an incident in which an Orthodox church was damaged, and the desecration of a grave.

Bias against LGBT people
  • ILGA-Europe and Gayten-LGBT reported a physical assault carried out by a group on a transgender couple. Praxis reported two physical assaults.

  • Transgender Europe reported two physical assaults, including one that involved knife threats. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Human Rights First reported a further physical assault on four women.

IGO information

Developments

Racism and xenophobia
  • Following a country visit to Serbia, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe expressed concern about the occurrence of hate crimes and called for courts to follow a stronger sentencing policy related to hate crimes, including by making better use of the aggravating circumstances provisions of the Criminal Code.

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has, in co-operation with the Commissioner for Equality and the Ombudsman, conducted eight training sessions for representatives of local municipalities on the subject of the rights of internally displaced people, which also addressed hate crimes.

ODIHR key observations

ODIHR observes that Serbia has not reported on hate crimes separately from cases of hate speech and discrimination.