Stones at Freedom of Speech

The Humanitarian Law Center is strongly criticizing the act in which the house of Mirko Đorđević, a Religion Sociologist, was stoned. This happened in the night from 16 to 17 May. The HLC is also calling upon the Serbian Ministry of Interior to undertake all measures necessary to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice as soon as possible.

The stoning of Mirko Đorđević’s house, which happened after he participated in the “Ključ” (Key) TV Broadcast on RTS on 15 May in which he presented his opinion about the life and work of Archbishop Nikolaj Velimirović, shows that there are still individuals in Serbia, who believe that opposite opinions represent a threat and a justification for the use of violence. The attack on the home of the person, who presented his serious and argumented critique regarding the obvious clericalism in all segments of our social life, should represent a clear message to others who have critical opinion about the church’s role in the Serbian society today.

The Republic of Serbia, as a member to many international conventions (among which the European Convention on Human Rights), is obliged to protect the right of every person to express in public his/her opinion (unless it affirms attacks on other people’s rights) without bearing the consequences either form the state authorities or individuals. The Republic of Serbia also proclaimed from the highest positions its longings to join the democratic processes of integration into Europe completely and urgently. These violent acts do not contribute to such processes – on the contrary, they are pushing Serbia further in isolation and conflicts. Hence, the HLC believes that it is in the best interest not only of the state of Serbia, but the entire Serbian society, that the perpetrator of this irrational violent act be found and punished urgently.