The Regional Centre for Minorities reported a physical assault by a group against a group of Hungarians; one incident of damage to a building that was housing asylum seekers, causing them to leave; and an arson attack against a barracks that were being prepared to house asylum seekers.
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Report Data - Serbia - 2013
In a first judgment expressly applying the hate crime provision in Serbian Criminal Code, a defendant received an enhanced sentence for a hate crime motivated by bias against sexual orientation, following arguments to that effect by the public prosecutor.
The Republic Public Prosecutor's Office, jointly with the OSCE Mission to Serbia and civil society, developed and published the Guidelines for Criminal Prosecution of Hate Crimes. The Guidelines, to which ODIHR contributed expert input, were disseminated and trainings for prosecutors are being conducted to solidify their principles into prosecutorial practice.
Pursuant to the Compulsory Instruction issued by the Republic Public Prosecutor, all Prosecutor's Offices have appointed a specialist hate crime prosecutor to monitor and record hate crime cases, liaise with case prosecutor and police officers, as well as with the victims and civil society organizations supporting them.
The Federation of Jewish Communities reported one incident of threats against a Jewish man and his family and one case of the desecration of a cemetery. The Regional Centre for Minorities reported the desecration of one further Jewish cemetery, in which 39 tombstones were destroyed. World Without Nazism reported one incident of the desecration of a cemetery.
The Regional Centre for Minorities reported two incidents of the desecration of mosques and one incident of assault resulting in serious injury carried out by a group against two employees at a halal restaurant, also causing serious damage to the restaurant. World Without Nazism reported one incident of physical assault carried out by a group, resulting in serious injury and also in significant damage to the restaurant where the victim worked.
Labris reported one physical assault carried out by a group against two gay men.
The Regional Centre for Minorities and Chachipe reported an incident of damage to a monument to a Roma musician. Chachipe reported the murder of a Roma teenager, whose body was found in a pond; two physical assaults; two attacks against settlements by groups of from 20 to 50 attackers, resulting in several victims being hospitalized; threats of arson and damage to property; and one additional incident of damage to property. The Regional Centre for Minorities reported four physical assaults, including one carried out by a group against a young Roma man, two carried out by groups on Roma settlements in Niš and Resnik, and one against a Roma man and woman in a shopping centre. The Centre also reported one incident of threats.
World Without Nazism reported one incident of the desecration of a place of worship.
ODIHR observes that Serbia has not reported on hate crimes separately from cases of hate speech.
On 1 January 2013, the new provision on aggravating circumstances of the Criminal Code of Serbia entered into force. Section 54a provides for an enhanced penalty when a crime has been committed based on hatred towards race, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office, in co-operation with the British Embassy, launched a project establishing an information service for victims and witnesses within the prosecutor’s office. In addition, a pilot service was established within the High Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade.