Statement of Sociological Scientific Society of Serbia related to arrest of its member

Sociological Scientific Society of Serbia (SSSS) strongly protests against the arrest of its member Dr Vladimir Mentus in front of The National Assembly of Republic of Serbia during the night of 11th of July 2020. According to the information available to SSSS, Dr Vladimir Mentus, research associate at the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade, was arrested solely for being near the spot of police action, regardless that he did not take part in any action against the police or in any other violent action, for which there is evidence in the video recording that SSSS has. He was also beaten up by the police during arrest. He was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment and taken to Padinska Skela prison by urgent trial without proper legal procedure, during which he was denied a lawyer and the right of proper defence.

Sociological Scientific Society of Serbia requests the immediate release of Dr Vladimir Mentus, as well as the many others who, to our knowledge, have been arrested and prosecuted in the same way. SSSS also requests the procedure of establishing the responsibility of persons involved in this unlawful arrest, who could be recognized from the shooting, as well as their superiors who ordered it, and that they would be sanctioned accordingly. These kinds of acts of the police and urgent legal procedures that do not secure the rights of the arrested, constitute flagrant violation of human rights, undermine the legal system of the Republic of Serbia and provide another example of usurpation of institutions.

Belgrade, July 12th 2020.