dDH's 'Hope'; Kosova Crisis 2000; Opinions: Death in Serbia
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VREME's request to officials

We demand that the Serbian Parliament appoint a parliamentary committee, and the state leadership appoint a state committee with wide ranging authorizations for investigating the recent series of assassinations

If they do not do this, if they do not put a stop in the nearest future to this chain of unpunished crimes to which the public is getting accustomed with resignation, Serbia will no longer be a republic, or a tyranny, or even a state; Serbia became chaotic in which the only law is the law of the fittest. Who else is supposed to die at the hands of an assassin in order for this state to stir itself out of its paralysis? Just like the frog which is hypnotized by the snake's eyes, Serbia stands fixed and motionless, looking onto some unknown, an other-worldly power which for nine years now has been killing its citizens in an identical manner. The citizens of Serbia are not only equal in that they are all mortal, like all other human beings; the citizens of Serbia are also all equal according to the Constitution: the minister of internal affairs is equal to the local thug; the general secretary of the ruling party is equal to the owner of a local car dump; a newspaper editor is equal to a police colonel; or a pastry shop owner with an exciting life. All of them have the right not to be shot in the street, in a restaurant, or even in the Intercontinental Hotel, because they pay taxes which go toward supporting one of the biggest police forces in the world, looked at in terms of number of policemen per capita. This same police force, which also stands transfixed and in a state of trans, did not manage to discover the perpetrators in some twenty, identically carried out assassinations, even though this series of assassinations in Belgrade resulted in the deaths of a general (a Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs), two colonels, one police inspector and one powerful government official. We watched many touching and expensive funerals; we read many disturbing and expensive death notices in hundreds of pages of Politika daily; we listened to many pledges and promises; an annual police award was instituted with the name of one of the assassination victims. Serbia did not become more secure from all of that. Is Serbia living in a constant state of coups d'etats? How else is it possible to explain those twenty "extraordinary corpses" of people who used to be very important to this state - in the police, in the underworld, in public life, in the entertainment world, in business, and does it matter really where else? Experienced policemen say that each of those assassinations required at least seven to eight reliable, expert and cold-blooded individuals, exceptional intelligence work ahead of time, telecommunications, weapons for single use, two to three clean vehicles, at least one secure apartment, and a huge amount of money. Multiply this by twenty without anyone being caught, discovered or identified!? Does this mean that a terrorist organization exists in Serbia which operates unpunished and whose job is to kill certain people, even those who are high on the ladders of power? Will anyone come forth to answer to Serbia on this score, instead of Goran Matic trying to wage battle with spiders, wasps and other insects (the last two conspiratorial organizations identified by the Minister of Information are called Spider and Wasp) from the dilapidated house that is run by the regime, while in the meantime poisonous snakes are circling his legs? It is high time for the Serbian Parliament to appoint a parliamentary committee, or the state leadership to appoint a state committee, or both, where these will have wide ranging authorizations that would include capacity of making deals with eventual suspects in exchange for information, authorizations to protect witnesses, authorizations to use specially picked, reliable investigators who are completely protected and have the widest possible range of powers, the right to chose security officers who will carry out investigations and exclusive command over them, special protection and immunity for those committees and their members and associates. That is the only way in which Serbia could rid itself of this nightmare, of this death squad which is killing whoever they wish, or whoever they are ordered to kill, and all with complete impunity, with this being the state of affairs for nine years already - since August of 1991. That is the only way in which this government could wash itself of all accusations for sinister connections between politics, organized crime, smuggling, financial machinations and murders which serve their common purposes. It is high time for political parties - both the ones that are in power and in the opposition - to reach a consensus at least on one single point: establishing the rules of the political game in which murder is not a legitimate method neither in politics, nor in business, nor in bureaucracy. If they do not do this, if they do not put a stop in the nearest future to this chain of unpunished crimes to which the public is getting accustomed with resignation, Serbia will no longer be a republic, or a tyranny, or even a state; Serbia will became mere chaos in which the only law is the law of the fittest. We can no longer pretend not to see and to stand transfixed like a bunch of frogs which are being circled by a snake that is measuring off its next victim.

Source: Vreme news

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