This article contains a statement from our member organisation Da se zna!

On February 4, 2020, the Court in Smederevo sentenced D.M. for the criminal offense of Violent Conduct referred to in the Article 344 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, taking into the account Article 54a, which prescribes a more severe sentence for hate crimes. 

A verdict has been reached for the incident occurred in September 2015, when two people received light injuries as a result of several hits, followed by the homophobic slurs and statements as “such persons cannot live in Serbia”.

The perpetrator was sentenced to 6 months in prison, which he will serve in the premises where he lives, using electronic surveillance. 

As activists, we are proud that, after almost four years of work and the struggle for consistent application of the Law, a verdict was finally reached taking into the account a hate crime clause, as an aggravating circumstance in the process we were actively following!

Da se zna! is currently involved in five proceedings before the competent courts in Serbia. We continue our fight for adequate sanctioning of perpetrators, with the hope that other cases will get their epilogue faster, and contribute to an atmosphere where LGBT + citizens of Serbia feel that their country’s institutions are behind them and are applying the law to those who violate the human rights of LGBT + people, enshrined in the Constitution and the laws.

The first criminal verdict in Serbia, where hate crime as a special aggravating circumstance was taken into account, was reached in November 2018 (almost 6 years after hate crime provisions were introduced into the Serbian criminal legislation). The case was led by our member organisation Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)