News Archive 1998From: "Vukasin Petrovic" firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrested Belgrade University Students Sentenced to Prison
Four students (three female, one male) of Belgrade University were arrested on 4th of November, just after midnight, in downtown Belgrade, capital of FR Yugoslavia. The arrest of four students was completed by fifty fully-armed policemen including few secret service officers using a car with diplomatic plates (!). Arrested students, Nikola Vasiljevic (19), Dragana Milinkovic (22), Teodora Tabacki (22) and Marina Glisic (22), are activists of student movement "OTPOR" (Resistance) who fights against attempts of Serbian Government to restrict the autonomy of universities in Serbia. After the arrest, students were immediately put on trial and Judge Zeljko Munjiza sentenced them to ten days in prison. Their only crime was writing the graffitti with a fist a symbol of student fight against regime repression. The Judge supported his decision with the claim that the students "expressed their civic disobedience of the present Serbian authorities by painting the grafitti on the walls in the centre of Belgrade".
Convicted students have already been sent to prison despite of their legal right to fail the complaint beforehand.
OTPOR would like to emphasize that arrested students acted peacefully during their marketing action and did not cause any disturbance of the public order. This is another method of Serbian regime to try to scare students and general public away from opposing new governmental laws on higher education and public information.
The United Nations High Commission on Human Rights monitored closely the process and expressed its dissatisfaction with the nature of sentence. Could you be so kind to help us with putting additional pressure on Government of Serbia to release immediately our colleagues from prison.
With Best Regards,
OTPOR Press Centre