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Balkan Legal News

The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 19 November to 25 November 2021. Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates with a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at for consideration.

Albania – 19 November 2021

An exhibition entitled ‘Tirana in the Eyes of the Sigurimi’ was held at the Palace of Congresses in the Albanian capital Tirana, illustrating how people in the Albanian capital were spied upon and persecuted under the Communist regime that ruled the country until the early 1990s. “The main goal is to convey a message to the community and to young people, and this message is: dictatorship must not happen again. Dictatorships are the worst thing that can happen to a society. Dictatorships bring the destruction of all aspects of humanity, of the individual, of culture, of economic developments and so on,” said Adriana Topi, director of the archive at the Authority for Information on Former State Security Documents. The full article can be found here.

Serbia – 19 November 2021

A banner condemning Ratko Mladic as a war criminal was torn down from a building in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, as a dispute continued to simmer over murals glorifying the Bosnian Serb military chief as a hero. Human rights activists have tried to deface or remove the tributes to the Bosnian Serb war criminal, while nationalists have tried to protect them or clean them after they have been painted over. The full article can be found here.

Kosovo – 22 November 2021

Svetomir Bacevic, 57, went on trial last week at Pristina Basic Court for the crime, which he is alleged to have committed during the conflict between Serbian forces and the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army in 1998. He has been charged with seizing an ethnic Albanian woman from her home and mistreating her during the war in 1998.

The full article can be found here.

Montenegro – 23 November 2021

The Council of Europe said in a new report that Montenegro must take more action towards preventing money-laundering, pointing to the low number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions in that sector. The full article can be found here.

Kosovo – 24 November 2021

A witness at the trial for the killing of Kosovo Serb political party leader Oliver Ivanovic told Pristina Basic Court that he wanted to change the testimony he previously gave to Kosovo’s Special Prosecution back in June 2018. The witness, who cannot be named, said there was an informal “law of silence” in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo, where Ivanovic was killed, and that he made a mistake by getting involved in the trial.

The full article can be found here.

Croatia – 25 November 2021

The parliamentary committee proposal to establish a new memorial graveyard in Zagreb for soldiers of the Nazi-allied World War II-era Independent State of Croatia has been strongly criticised by anti-fascists. The full article can be found here.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 25 November 2021

High Representative Christian Schmidt visited Washington DC to discuss current political developments and the overall status of peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina with United States officials. The full article can be found here.

Serbia – 25 November 2021

The advisory body of the Council of Europe said that Serbia has followed “most” Venice Commission recommendations about its constitutional amendments, but the risk of politisation of main judicial bodies still need to be reduced. The full article can be found here.


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