Civil society organizations from the region strongly support their colleagues from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights and Civic Initiatives from Serbia, as well as Integra from Kosovo, whose festival “Mirëdita, dobar dan!” promoting friendship and cooperation between the Serbian and Albanian people, has been banned in Serbia.

We condemn the decision of the Serbian authorities to ban the festival merely because it has come under attack from criminal structures and members of right-wing groups who threaten the safety and make the most severe threats against its organizers and participants. As a member state of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and a candidate for membership in the European Union, Serbia is expected to uphold its obligations to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly of the festival’s organizers, and to protect them from those who use hate speech and make the most severe threats of violence against the festival’s organizers and participants.

We express serious concern about the negative stance of the highest officials of the Republic of Serbia towards this festival, which solely promotes peace and was supposed to open with a performance about the universal suffering of families whose loved ones have been abducted and gone missing.

We call upon the Serbian authorities to reconsider the decision to ban the festival, to protect our colleagues and sanction all those who threaten their safety.

 

Signatories:

  1. Human Rights Action (HRA), Podgorica, Montenegro
  2. Active zone, Cetinje, Montenegro
  3. Anti-Fascist League of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb
  4. Association Spektra, Podgorica, Montenegro
  5. Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI), Sarajevo, BiH
  6. Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI), Gostivar, North Macedonia
  7. Bona Fide, Pljevlja, Montenegro
  8. CESI – Center for Education, Counseling and Research, Zagreb, Croatia
  9. Center for Civic Education (CGO), Podgorica, Montenegro
  10. Center for Civil Liberties – CEGAS, Podgorica, Montenegro
  11. Center for Women’s and Peace Education ANIMA, Kotor, Montenegro
  12. Center for Women’s Rights (CŽP), Podgorica, Montenegro
  13. Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), Podgorica, Montenegro
  14. Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), Podgorica, Montenegro
  15. Center for Democracy and Transitional Justice (CDTP), Banja Luka, BiH
  16. Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIN-CG), Podgorica, Montenegro
  17. Center for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights, Osijek, Croatia
  18. Center for Peace Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
  19. Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), Podgorica, Montenegro
  20. Center for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo | Belgrade
  21. Center for Support and Development of Civil Society “DELFIN,” Pakrac, Croatia
  22. Center for Promotion of Civil Society (CPCD), Sarajevo, BiH
  23. Center for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO), Podgorica, Montenegro
  24. Center for Regionalism, Novi Sad, Serbia
  25. Civil Rights Defenders
  26. Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Kvir Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
  27. Montenegrin Philological Society, Cetinje, Montenegro
  28. Montenegrin Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (CHO), Podgorica, Montenegro
  29. Montenegrin Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights (CKP), Podgorica, Montenegro
  30. Montenegrin PEN Center, Cetinje, Montenegro
  31. Montenegrin Women’s Lobby (CŽL), Podgorica, Montenegro
  32. CROSOL – Platform for International Civil Solidarity of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia
  33. Drama Studio Prazan Prostor, Podgorica, Montenegro
  34. Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past, Zagreb, Croatia
  35. Society of Montenegrin Publishers, Podgorica, Montenegro
  36. Rainbow Families, Zagreb, Croatia
  37. ERA – Alliance for Equal Rights of LGBTI Persons in the Western Balkans and Turkey, Belgrade, Serbia
  38. European Movement in Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  39. Expeditio – Center for Sustainable Spatial Development, Kotor, Montenegro
  40. BFPE Foundation for a Responsible Society, Belgrade, Serbia
  41. ForumZFD Kosovo office, Prishtina, Kosovo
  42. ForumZFD representative office, Belgrade, Serbia
  43. ForumZFD, Skopje, North Macedonia
  44. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  45. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Bijeljina, BiH
  46. Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka, BiH
  47. Igman Initiative
  48. Media Institute of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
  49. Youth Initiative for Human Rights Croatia, Zagreb
  50. Youth Network of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
  51. Juventas, Podgorica, Montenegro
  52. Cantonal Association of Persons with Disabilities and Anti-Addiction “RUKA RUCI,” Bihać, BiH
  53. GRAD – European Centre for Culture and Debate, Belgrade, Serbia
  54. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Belgrade, Serbia
  55. Walk With Us – Phiren Amenca, Podgorica, Montenegro
  56. Krokodil – Literary Regional Gathering That Dispels Boredom and Lethargy, Belgrade, Serbia
  57. Human Rights House, Zagreb, Croatia
  58. Human Rights House, Banja Luka, BiH
  59. Peace Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  60. Women in Black Network, Serbia
  61. Nisma e të Rinjve për të Drejtat e Njeriut Kosovë / Inicijativa Mladih za Ljudska Prava Kosovo / Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
  62. Civic Initiative “21. May,” Podgorica, Montenegro
  63. Organization “Voice of Women,” Bihać, BiH
  64. Prima, Podgorica, Montenegro
  65. Regional Academy for Democracy Development (ADD), Novi Sad, Serbia
  66. Sarajevo Open Center, Sarajevo, BiH
  67. Alliance for Children and Youth “House,” Podgorica, Montenegro
  68. Association of Paraplegics and Polio Patients of the Una-Sana Canton, Velika Kladuša, BiH
  69. SENSE – Center for Transitional Justice, Pula, Croatia
  70. Association of LBTQ Women Stana, Podgorica, Montenegro
  71. Network for Building Peace, Sarajevo, BiH
  72. Association of Lawyers of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
  73. Association of History Professors of Montenegro (HIPMONT), Podgorica, Montenegro
  74. Association “Parents,” Podgorica, Montenegro
  75. Association “Štrpci – Against Oblivion,” Bijelo Polje, Montenegro
  76. Association BH Journalists, Sarajevo, BiH
  77. Association of Pensioners and Labor Invalids Bužim, BiH
  78. Association of Joy of Socializing Bihać, BiH
  79. Association of Dystrophics, Bužim, BiH
  80. Association Alternative, Kakanj, BiH
  81. Association of Women for Sustainable Development Vakat Jezerski-Bosanska Krupa, BiH
  82. Association of Dystrophics Cazin, BiH
  83. Women in Black, Belgrade, Serbia
  84. Aida Ćorović, Civic Activist, Serbia
  85. Jovana Marović, Advisory Group “Balkan in Europe” (BiEPAG), Montenegro
  86. Dina Bajramspahić, Civic Activist, Montenegro
  87. Aleksandar Saša Zeković, Independent Councillor in the Assembly of the Capital City Podgorica, Montenegro
  88. Goran Đurović, Civic Activist, Montenegro
  89. Dženana Dedić, Civic Activist, BiH