Zarana Papic on Sun, 8 Oct 2000 23:54:52 +0200


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Syndicate: Amnesty International - communiqué de presse



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
6 October 2000    AI Index EUR 70/053/2000 - News Service Nr. 191

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: government must avoid errors of the past

Speaking from the region, Amnesty International Researcher Paul Miller
said,
"The challenge that faces any new government is to avoid the errors of
the
past. In this region those errors have bred a climate of fear and
insecurity
leading to human rights violations on a vast scale. It must set out on
the
path of full respect for the rights of all its citizens."

The humans rights organisation also highlighted the need to bring former
President Slobodan Milosevic, (and the four other government officials
indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia), to justice. "The new government must uphold its
international obligations by arresting and transferring Milosevic and
the
officials to the custody of the tribunal." Paul Miller said, "At this
stage
we do not see how a fair and proper trial can be held in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. Equally, the international community must not
shrug
off its own obligations. Amnesties and impunity for crimes against
humanity
have no place on the negotiating table."

On taking office the president-elect, Vojislav Kostunica, is empowered
under
Article 96, paragraph 8 of the Federal Constitution to grant a pardon
for
those convicted under federal legislation. Amnesty International called
upon
him to demonstrate his and his government's commitment to the cause of
justice by effecting the immediate release of all prisoners of
conscience
and those who are held unlawfully, and to review the cases of those who
have
suffered unfair political trials. The freeing of such figures as
journalist
Miroslav Filipovic and human rights activist Flora Brovina would be an
unmistakable signal of such a commitment.

Paul Miller added, "the opportunity to create a new political and social
climate, marked by the reform of police and security services, respect
for
the rule of law, the provision of compensation and restitution for the
victims and attention to the need of groups such as refugees and
displaced
persons, lies before Serbia and Yugoslavia. The opportunity must not be
missed."


For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW web :
http://www.amnesty.org


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