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Celebrated Human Rights Day, Shabic rewarded

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The five civil society organizations gathered in the Human Rights House and marked the Human Rights Day, with the estimation that many human rights in Serbia continue to be endangered, that the institutions of the state are collapsing and sent a message that civil society cannot exist in a country where there is no rule of law.

“Today we are witnessing some new roles, so-called NGOs, which hinder our voice to be heard, and we have to fight against it,” said director of YUCOM Katarina Golubovic.

We are also witnessing that the state and institutions are collapsing, whether it is discrediting the work of responsible people or undermining the capacities, under the auspices of austerity, she added.

“If in a strong burst of authoritarianism, which is in progress not only in Serbia, but also in Europe, we do not stop the creation of a captured state, it will eventually eat everything,” warned Dragan Popovic, one of the founders of the Human Rights House.

In the Human Rights House for the recognition of responsible reporting and awareness raising on the importance of respecting human rights in 2018, have been awarded journalist of Times Jovana Gligorijevic and journalist of Al Jazeera Jelena Milutinovic, and a special award was given to the Rodoljub Shabic, Commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection.

Shabic received the special award for exceptional work in human rights protection in Serbia at the Human Rights and Democracy House and pointed out that he will no longer be a commissioner, but he expressed the belief that Serbia will have a Commissioner’s institution that will be able to protect the human rights of Serbian citizens.

Explaining the recognition, Maja Jovanovic from the Civic Initiatives emphasized that he is an example of how to fight for human rights every day.

He pointed out that in the past six months, in his field of activity, changes were marked in the two laws, and pointed out that instead of the current bad Act on Personal Data Protection, the new one would be “catastrophically bad” and that the change of the Law on Free Access to Information by all means will be worse, even though it is proclaimed as the best in the world.

Gligorijevic, who in the series of her texts deals with the topic of the fight with depression, has said that there is a cure for mental illness and there is an exit from depression.

In appealing for solidarity, she said: “Please, do not mix mischief, disrepute and arrogance of politicians with mental illness”.

Milutinovic emphasized the goal of Al Jazeera to make people, whose voice is not heard easily, visible and has shown that the story of the mini hydro power plants that she worked on in Stara Planina is an example of the attitude towards the public good in Serbia, since the citizens pointed out the injustice and human rights violation provoked by the falling of the most beautiful mountain rivers under someone’s private interest.
The Human Rights House consists of: Civic Initiatives, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and the Centre for Practical Policy.

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