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Yougoslavia, Federal Rep.of
10.12.02
Urgent Interventions

Yougoslavia: severe beating and ill treatment of a suspected robber by police

Case YUG 101202
Ill-treatment/Impunity

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source of the severe beating and ill treatment of a suspected robber by police in Belgrade, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

According to the information received from the Humanitarian Law Centre, Mr. Zeljko Trudic was beaten by police in the street, then taken to Zemun district police station where he was again beaten, allegedly in order to extract a confession to breaking into a supermarket.

The victim claims to have been waiting for his brother after midnight on 2 December 2002 in a street in Zemun, Belgrade, when he saw a police car coming towards him and started to run. The police caught him and threw him to the ground. Mr. Trudic claims that he didn't attempt to resist, but was kicked and punched by some five officers, who also hit him with their flashlights. He was accused of robbing a supermarket and of hiding a crowbar.

According to the source, he was taken to Zemun police station where Trudic claims they hit him on the head with a thick notebook, punched and kicked him, and insisted that he own up to robbing the supermarket. Trudic refused to admit doing something he hadn't done, despite the beating. Trudic was then taken to a cell and, 15 minutes later, to the office of an Inspector Lapcevic who questioned him about the supermarket and another robbery in Zemun that night. At about 3.30 a.m., the inspector allowed Trudic to leave, reportedly stating that there was no need for further questioning or investigation as Trudic had not confessed during the beatings.

Trudic’s leg was injured and walked home with a severe limp. When he went to the local hospital the next day, doctors established numerous contusions on his head and body.
Mr. Trudic has previous criminal convictions, and alleges that he has been beaten up by police twice before.

OMCT would like to express its concern about the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Trudic, and is especially concerned about reports of police violence against suspected criminals in order to produce a confession, in violation of both Yugoslav police regulations and international human rights standards. OMCT is also gravely concerned that the perpetrators of this attack will not be brought to justice, and that they will continue to be active within the police force and calls upon the authorities in Yugoslavia to ensure a thorough investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice.

Action requested
Please write to the authorities in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Zeliko Trudic;
ii. order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these arrests in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards.

Addresses

· His Excellency Vojislav Kostunica, President of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Predsednik SRJ, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2, 11070 Belgrade, Yugoslavia Fax: (+381) 3015055 E-mail: VojislavKostunica@gov.yu
· His Excellency, Prime Minister of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dragiša Pešiæ, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2, 11070 Belgrade, Yugoslavia. E-mail: dragisa.pesic@gov.yu
· His Excellency, Minister of Justice of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Markoviæ Savo, Republicko Ministarstvo za pravosudje i optu upravu, Namanjina 26, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Fax: (+381) 11 141 997 E-mail: savo.markovic@gov.yu
· His Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Svilanoviæ Goran. Fax : (+ 381) 11 3618 052 E-mail: goran.svilanovic@gov.yu
· His Excellency, Minister of Internal Affairs of The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Živkoviæ Zoran. Fax: (+381) 11 311 71 59 E-mail: zoran.zivkovic@gov.yu
· His Excellency, Prime Minister of the Serbian Government, Zoran Djindjic Belgrade, 11 Nemanjina St. Fax: (+381)11 3617-609
· Velimir Radojevic, Federal Minister of Defence (Serbia), Kneza Milosa 34, 11000 Beograd, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Fax: + 381 11 656 975
· Dusan Mihajlovic, Minister of Internal Affairs (Serbia) 101 Kneza Milosa St, Belgrade. Fax: + 381 11 3617-814. E-mail: muprs@mup.sr.gov.yu
· Vladan Batic, Minister of Justice (Serbia), 22-26 Nemanjina St., Belgrade. Fax: + 381 11 3616 548/9. E-mail: kabinet@mpravde.sr.gov.yu


Please also write to the embassies of Yugoslavia, Federal Rep.of in your respective country.

Geneva, December 9, 2002

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