Court suspended the father for abusing his homosexual son
The Belgrade resident was found guilty of bias-motivated domestic violence, the first such verdict in Serbia. — Mother also suffered torture.
In Serbia, the first final verdict was passed in which, when imposing a sentence, the motive of hatred was taken as a particularly aggravating circumstance. It was pronounced by the First Basic Court in Belgrade after it was found that for a year and a half the defendant Z. S. was death threatening and verbally and physically harassing his son I. S. (36) just because of his homosexuality.
In addition to his son, the defendant harassed his wife in the same way because she was “covering up her son”, that is, she was hiding his sexual orientation from him.
By a court decision, Z. S. was found guilty of two criminal acts of domestic violence. Although for every act he was sentenced to eight or six months of prison, the unique punishment was much milder. He was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence, which will not be executed unless he commits another criminal act in the next three years. At the same time, it is forbidden for Z.S. to approach his son and his wife to a distance of less than 100 meters, and also to disturb them for a year from the validity of the judgment.
As the acting prosecutor and the defendant waived the right to appeal immediately after the announcement of the judgment, the verdict became final.
In the judgment in which “Politika” had an insight, it was stated that Z. S. in October 2013, after finding out that his son was homosexual, verbally attacked I. S. threatening that he would kill him. On the same day, he was threatening his wife, calling her with a hideous name, and threatening that she would pay for covering up her son.
— A few moments later, Z. S. got out of the apartment, and after returning, he threatened his son to kill him. He said that he would do the same to the friend who visits him. Z. S. told his son that he had to change, or he would be slaughtered — says the judgment of the First Basic Court.
The defendant did not stop at verbal insults and threats. Just a week after the first incident, when he was intoxicated, he pulled his son out of the room where he and his mother were watching TV, shouting he could not look at a sick person in his room.
— After calling his wife with a hideous name and changing the channel, Z. S. leapt to his son, knocked the TV to the floor and hit him. As the mother of the injured person stood between them, the defendant hit her in the face, causing the unfortunate woman to fall to the floor. He shouted that he would heal his son or put him in a prison where he would be raped roughly. His wife was accused of being guilty of hiding from him the sexual orientation of their son, and then threatened to kill both of them, that he would place her in a mental institution and that she would not embarrass him and ruin his roots — according to the judgment.
Threats and insults became almost regular daily, and on December 4, 2013, the defendant threatened his son that he had to move to the Netherlands “where such sick persons are tolerated”. At the same time, he accused his wife of being mentally ill “when she could protect …”
The most drastic attack by the father on his son took place on April 13, 2015. He physically assailed him telling him he was an atheist, a terrible ….., the defendant took the fork, pulled him up to the fridge and scratched him under his armpit.
— On May 14, 2015, the wife invited Z. S. to help her with the accident in the bathroom of the family apartment. Instead of removing the malfunction, the defendant called her a cattle and yelled at her “look at you, why I married you,” and then attacked her from the back, clutching her neck and her right hand above her elbow – the verdict says.
The first verdict for hate crime
The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), after passing a judgment against Z. S. due to domestic violence from hatred, reminded that in December 2012 the Article 54 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia was introduced into the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia stating that the offence motivated by hatred due to race and religion, ethnic or ethnic affiliation, gender, sexual orientation or the gender identity of another person would be appreciated as a compulsory aggravating circumstance.
Representatives of YUCOM stated that, since then, this provision has not been taken into account in any single judgment, despite numerous reports submitted by NGOs and individuals.
According to a survey carried out by organizations that advocate for the rights of the LGBT community, these people, due to their sexual orientation in 40 percent of cases, experience violence from their family members.
— Therefore, this judgment is of particular importance for the protection of the LGBT’s rights as well as members of other minority groups. We hope that it will influence the case-law in this and similar cases — YUCOM announced.