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.
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Report Data - Serbia - 2015
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 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.
ILGA-Europe and Gayten-LGBT reported a physical assault carried out by a group on a transgender couple. Praxis reported two physical assaults.
The Regional Centre for Minorities (RCM) reported an incident in which an Orthodox church was damaged, and the desecration of a grave.
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.
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 observes that Serbia has not reported on hate crimes separately from cases of hate speech and discrimination.
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.