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Yougoslavia, Federal Rep.of
09.09.03
Urgent Interventions

Serbia and Montenegro: Mr. Munir Muriæ suffers physical assault by a police officer in Tutin

Case SER 090903
Torture


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Serbia.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a Humanitarian Law Center, a member of the OMCT network, of the physical abuse against Mr. Munir Muriæ by a police officer in Tutin, Serbia.

According to the information received, on August 18th, 2003, Mr. Munir Muriæ was stopped by a police officer after having stopped to urinate behind a police checkpoint hut on his way from the market in Tutin around 7:00 p.m. Officer Omer Hadžiæ approached Muriæ and threatened him, saying "Do you know I have the right to beat you up?" to which Muriæ responded that Hadžiæ had no such right. Officer Hadžiæ responded by grabbing Muriæ’s arm, twisting it behind his back, and punching him. Muriæ asked to be left alone, saying that he had not committed any crime, and the officer said "Don't you know that a bomb went off here three nights ago?"
As Hadžiæ led Muriæ into the hut, he swore at him and threatened him with imprisonment. Inside the hut, Muriæ was ordered to face the wall while Hadžiæ kneed him in the left led and thigh and repeatedly punched him in his sides.
The beating stopped when another police inspector entered the room. The unknown officer removed the handcuffs but did not respond when Muriæ complained of having been beaten. Officer Hadžiæ continued to insult Muriæ as he was leaving, saying that he was "whining like a whore." Muriæ has a medical certificate and photographs testifying to the injuries he sustained. On August 26th, the Sandžak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms filed a criminal complaint against Officer Hadžiæ, charging him with civil injury and infliction of slight bodily injury.
The International Secretariat of OMCT is therefore gravely concerned for Mr. Munir Muriæ’s physical and psychological integrity. OMCT calls upon the Serbian authorities launch an immediate and impartial investigation into this incident in order to identify those responsible, bring them to justice and award adequate reparation to Mr. Muriæ.


Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Serbia urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Muriæ ;
ii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
iii. Take all necessary measures to ensure respect for the international human rights instruments in Serbia, which includes respect for the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, such as the practice of corporal punishment.

Addresses

· His Excellency, Mr. Zoran Zivkovic, Prime Minister of Serbia and Montenegro, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 2, 11070 Novi Beograd, Serbia and Montenegro. Fax: +381 11 3117159 / 604446 / 637185

· His Excellency, Mr. Vladan Batic, Minister of Justice, The Ministry of Justice of Serbia and Montenegro, Nemanjina 22-24, fax: +381 11 3616548 / 3616419 / 3616535, E-mail: kabinet@mpravde.sr.gov.yu

· His Excellency, Mr. Goran Svilanovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro, SMIP, Kneza Milosa 26, 11000 Beograd, Serbia and Montenegro, Fax : +381 11 3618052 / 3618010, E-mail: goran.svilanovic@smip.sv.gov.yu

· The Ministry of Interior Republic of Serbia, Minister Dusan Mihajlovic, Kneza Milosa 101, fax: (+381) 11 3617585 / (+381) 11 3617814, E-mail: muprs@mup.sr.gov.yu


Please also write to the embassies of Serbia and Montenegro in your respective country.

Geneva, September 9th, 2003

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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