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BEFORE THE COURT: Warned about polluted water, 4 months in detention

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The Constitutional Court of Serbia filed a constitutional complaint on behalf of F.J., who has been in house detention for four months due to publication on the social network Facebook about allegedly defective water in the Belgrade plumbing.

The complaint was filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights — YUCOM, referring to the violation of the right to freedom and security of F.J., as well as to the limited duration of detention.

In addition to request of determining a human rights violation, a constitutional complaint also required the cancellation of the decision of the Higher Court in Belgrade, which prohibited F. F. from leaving the premises in which he lives until the final decision of the Constitutional Court was passed.

 

Intimidation of citizens

YUCOM assessed that such deprivation of liberty and the restriction of the right to freedom of expression is unacceptable in a democratic society and is intended to intimidate all citizens expressing political opinion contrary to the majority.

On June 14 this year, on his Facebook account, he published the status in which he warned his friends not to drink water from the Belgrade plumbing because of their carcinogenicity.

From the early morning, this information circulated to all social networks, as well as online portals of individual online media.

He was arrested and after spending 13 days in detention in the Central Prison, he was given a measure of home detention that has been lasting for four months now.

In spite of the fact that the F.J. signed a plea agreement with the Belgrade Higher Prosecutor’s Office in early August, although the elements of the criminal charge have no ground – causing panic and disorder, although he expressed remorse over the allegedly committed act, the main trial was not scheduled three months after signing the agreement.

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Moreover, the High Court extended the measure of home detention once more, reiterating the reasoning from the previous decisions and not recalling the concluded agreement.

YUCOM pointed out that F.J.’s detention was due to a Facebook status through which he shared information that all of Serbia was talking about, and from that, lost his job and waste five month of his freedom.

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In the situation where the defendant acknowledged the act, YUCOM asked why the investigative procedure lasts for four months.

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