Rights and Freedoms Restricted in Serbia for State of Emergency Period

Acting Serbian President Natasa Micic signed a decree on special measures for the period of the state of emergency introduced following the murder of Premier Zoran Djindjic. This decree restricts certain rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

The decree authorises law-enforcers to detain persons threatening the security of citizens or the state for up to 30 days. According to the decree, the interior minister will have the right to halt the freedom of movement in public places and to deny access to certain territories or objects.

Security Information Agency, the Serbian special service, has been authorised to sanction access to citizens' correspondence or organisations without court decision. The authorised officials have the right of access to private apartments and other objects without court decision, if necessary.

Strikes are temporarily forbidden, and the organisers of assemblies and other public events are obliged to announce them beforehand to the Interior Ministry. Political, trade union and other activities aimed at "hampering the implementation of emergency measures" is forbidden.

The restrictions are also applied to mass media. They are forbidden to doubt in their messages the need for the state of emergency.