The decision of the Government of Serbia to prevent the removal of a mural celebrating convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic is an indication that war criminals in Serbia have state protection as well as official support and sends a dangerous and worrying message not only to the citizens of Serbia, but to everyone in the region.
With the decision to ban “both groups” from gathering on November 9, the regime equated those who committed and propagate war crimes with those, including the Youth Initiative for Human Rights and the Regional Academy for the Development of Democracy, who wanted to comply with the law, municipal decisions and residents and remove this shameful mural. Ratko Mladic was convicted for the worst crimes in Europe after the Second World War, for genocide, persecution, torture and murder of civilians, and the mere fact that a mural celebrating him and his crimes has been in the center of our city for months without a reaction from the authorities is dangerous. The fact that the regime is now preventing those who wanted to do a job that the state had to do a long time ago is more than alarming. Since this is a decision of state bodies, the conclusion is devastating: The protection of Ratko Mladic has become the official policy of the Republic of Serbia.
This decision of Serbian authorities, however, is not surprising at all, since the people who are today in power supported the politics and crimes committed by Ratko Mladic in the 1990s, who until recently declared the Serbian Parliament a safe house for Ratko Mladic, pasted names of a street named after Zoran Djindjic with a sign with a name of Ratko Mladic and those who, although they put a lot of effort into convincing themselves and others that they had changed, apparently never abandoned the policy of crimes and criminals who they continue to support and celebrate.
Chairman of the Executive Board
Regional Academy for Democratic Development
Belgrade, November 7, 2021