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Statements

Friday, 3 February 2012

In the procedure of controlling the legality and regularity of work of the Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа of the Directorate for Execution of Penitentiary Sanctions of the Ministry of Justice, the Protector of Citizens established errors in work consisting of the violation of mental and physical integrity of the prisoner А.B.

The Protector of Citizens established that the prisoner А. B. was subjected to torture by the officials of the Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа, that his injuries were not recorded in the official records, that the Prison Governor was not informed thereof, and that he was not examined by a medical doctor despite visible bodily injuries.

Based on the established deficiencies, the Protector of Citizens ordered the Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа to take all available measures to establish the responsibility of the officials for committed violence against the prisoner А.B., for failing to record inflicted bodily injuries and to inform the Prison Governor about committed torture and for failure to provide medical care.

The Protector of Citizens recommended to the Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа to protect, in its future work, the right of all persons deprived of liberty to inviolability of mental and physical integrity and to take all available measures to prevent torture or any other form of abuse. In its future work, this institute will also record each individual case of inflicting bodily injuries to persons deprived of liberty, inform immediately the Prison Governor thereof and take the injured person to a medical examination without delay.

The Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа is obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens, within 60 days, about the implementation of received recommendation.

The Protector of Citizens informed the Higher Public Prosecutor in Pоžаrеvac about the data collected in the procedure of controlling the legality and regularity of work of the Penitentiary-Correctional Institute Pоžаrеvаc – Zаbеlа.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Protector of Citizens established that the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance, Branch in Bor grossly violated the rules of administrative procedure and thereby violated the citizen/complainant’s right to good administration, efficient procedure of authorities, a decision based on law and a legal remedy.

The Protector of Citizens has concluded that the error of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance, Branch in Bor consisted of its failure to send the necessary findings, assessment and opinion of a medical doctor, an expert witness, to the Social Care Centre in Nеgоtin, as an authority competent to decide upon the submitted request for the recognition of the right to increased allowance for assistance and care of another person. Instead, the Branch sent a notification to the citizen/complainant stating that she was not fulfilling the requirements for the recognition of the right to increased allowance for assistance and care of another person, by which it deprived the complainant, inter alia, of the right to legal remedy.

The Protector of Citizens ordered to the Branch in Bor, in this particular case, to send immediately the necessary findings, assessment and opinion to the Social Care Centre in Nеgоtin and also to send to the citizen/complainant a written apology. It was recommended to the Branch management to undertake all organisational and other measures in order to ensure correct and lawful actions in the best interest of service users, and to inform all employees who conduct administrative procedures about the recommendation given by the Protector of Citizens.

The Branch in Bor is obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens within 30 days on its actions and to provide evidence on sending the expert’s opinion to the Social Care Centre in Nеgоtin and an apology to the complainant.

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Protector of Citizens has established errors in work of the city administrations of Niš, Vrаnje and Јаgоdina consisting of the failure to perform tasks within their competences.

The Directorate for Civil Status and General Affairs of the City of Niš, the Secretariat for General Administration of the City of Vrаnje – Registry Office Gnjilаnе and the City Administration of Јаgоdina – Department for Administration – Registry Office for the Municipalities of Đаkоvicа and Dеčаni,  upon having registered the citizens into birth registry books, failed to send their birth certificates to the competent authority, in accordance with the law, for the purpose of determining the citizen’s unique personal number, and referred citizens to submit a request to police stations by themselves, in order to exercise that right. Such conduct not only represents an extremely inappropriate behavior towards the citizens, but to a large extent it complicated an already complex procedure of exercising the right to personal documents.

The Protector of Citizens ordered to these city administrations to fulfil their obligations, in these particular and all future cases, specified under the Law on Citizen’s Unique Personal Number, i. e. to officially address the competent authority for the purpose of determining the citizen’s unique personal number.  In addition, the Protector of Citizens believes that it is necessary that the heads of city administrations ensure the application of those provisions of the Law on Citizen’s Unique Personal Number that stipulate the obligations of the competent authority responsible for administering civil registry books, in order to prevent possible future violations of the citizens’ right to obtain a citizen’s unique personal number.

These city administrations are obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens, within 60 days, about the implementation of received recommendations.

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Protector of Citizens has sent to the Government of the Republic of Serbia an Initiative for amending the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure in order to allow the persons whose civil status has never been institutionally recognise and who have never been registered into birth registry books to be registered also before the court within a reasonable time and without the obstacles that they have been facing in practice.

According to the estimates of the UNHCR and experts, there are some 6,500 individuals in Serbia who are not registered into birth registry books, do not possess personal documents and do not exercise their civil rights, which may potentially lead to a massive statelessness in the country. In cooperation with the NGOs Praxis and the Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, on the basis of citizens’ complaints and monitoring of the work of competent authorities that handled the requests of “legally invisible” persons for subsequent registration into birth registry books, the Protector of Citizens has gathered the facts and believes that the adoption of the amendments to the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure will provide the solution to this prоblеm in the citizens’ best interest.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

In the procedure of controlling the work of the Institute for the Advancement of Education, the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Education Council, the Protector of Citizens has established a series of irregularities in giving their expert assessment on primary school textbooks, at the request of a publishing company from Belgrade.

The Protector of Citizens points out that the procedure of assessing the quality of draft textbooks and approving them for use is burdened with numerous irregularities, including the absence of rules for the procedure of assessing the quality of drafts and arbitrary actions of the management that is responsible for ensuring correct, unbiased and above all, expert assessment of the textbook that will be used by primary school pupils and secondary school students in Serbia. Arbitrary and biased conduct of administration authority, along with the failure to comply with the legally prescribed procedure did not only violate  the principles of legality and regularity, but also challenged the credibility and professional integrity of the experts who provided assessments and bodies that made decisions based on these assessments.

It has been recommended to the Institute for the Advancement of Education, the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Education Council to adopt regulation that will regulate the manner and procedure of expert assessment of the quality of draft textbooks, to establish responsibility for committed errors, return money to the publisher and adjust future actions to the principles of legality, fairness and correct administrative behaviour.

These state institutions are obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens, within 60 days, about the implementation of received recommendations.

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