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Deepening Authoritarianism in Serbia: The Purge of the Universities

Publisher Human Rights Watch
Publication Date 1 January 1999
Citation / Document Symbol D1102
Cite as Human Rights Watch, Deepening Authoritarianism in Serbia: The Purge of the Universities, 1 January 1999, D1102, available at: [accessed 25 November 2015]
Comments Under the pretext of "depoliticizing" the campuses, the Serbian parliament in May 1998 enacted a law that removed basic protections for academic freedom and destroyed the autonomy of universities in Serbia. Over the past seven months, leaders of the ruling parties have put their own political allies in charge of the campuses and have suspended or fired many of the most respected professors and researchers in Serbia. The de facto government takeover of the universities is part of a broader effort by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to shut down dissent, autonomous inquiry, and free expression in Serbia.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Under the pretext of "depoliticizing" the campuses, the Serbian parliament in May 1998 enacted a law that removed basic protections for academic freedom and destroyed the autonomy of universities in Serbia. Over the past seven months, leaders of the ruling parties have put their own political allies in charge of the campuses and have suspended or fired many of the most respected professors and researchers in Serbia.

The de facto government takeover of the universities is part of a broader effort by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to shut down dissent, autonomous inquiry, and free expression in Serbia. With the attention of the international community focused on preventing further bloodshed in conflict-ridden Kosovo, Milosevic and his political allies have used their control of the Serbian parliament to enact and implement draconian new laws severely restricting independent media and freedom of expression. The universities, a center of large-scale demonstrations against the government in 1996-97, are one of the primary targets.

The law on universities enacted in 1998 opened the door to politically-motivated interference by creating a new university management structure in which all key personnel at all six of Serbia's public universities are appointed by and ultimately answer to the ruling political authorities. The ruling parties include the Yugoslav Left (JUL), led by Mira Markovic, wife of Milosevic; the Serbian Radical Party (SRS); and Milosevic's own Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). At the University of Belgrade, the country's premiere university and home to some 60,000 students, nearly forty high-ranking politicians and members of the ruling parties now hold administrative or governing board positions. Among them is Vojislav Seselj, head of the ultra-nationalist Radical Party, coalition partner of Milosevic, and deputy prime minister of Serbia. Seselj was the leader of a paramilitary group which was active in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. There are numerous and substantive allegations that paramilitaries under his command committed atrocities during brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns conducted by Serbian and Bosnian Serb forces. Seselj was named to the new managing board of the university and to the boards of two faculties. Faculty deans, previously elected by teaching staff, are now appointed directly by the government. Of sixteen new deans appointed at the University of Belgrade, fifteen are members of the ruling parties.

The new law also abrogated the contracts of all professors and teaching staff by requiring them, regardless of the terms of existing contracts and guarantees of tenure, to sign new contracts within sixty days of enactment of the law. Many professors saw the new contract requirement as, in effect, a mandatory oath of loyalty to the regime. Despite the obvious risks to their careers, roughly 150 professors refused to sign. As of January 5, 1999, fifteen professors had been fired, forty-six more had been suspended or otherwise sanctioned, and the minister of education had warned that all who have not signed the new contracts face dismissal.

In some faculties, the newly appointed deans have used the broad powers given them under the new law not only to root out dissident faculty but to fundamentally alter the curriculum. Some of the most far-reaching changes have taken place at the Faculty of Philology (home to over twenty departments in the areas of foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics) at the University of Belgrade. There, the government-appointed dean, a member of Seselj's ultra-nationalist party, unilaterally decided that Croatian literature does not exist (it is now to be called "Catholic Serb literature"), dismantled the Department of World Literature, and has declared repeatedly that Serbian scholarship has been invaded by a "fifth column" of Western-inspired traitors.

In at least three faculties, the new deans have hired private security guards to prevent the ousted professors from returning to their offices and classrooms. Members of a new student movement called Otpor ("Resistance") have been arrested or arbitrarily detained and, in separate incidents in December 1998, Otpor members were beaten by police and by unidentified assailants believed to be acting at the request of Serbian authorities.

Unless the law is repealed and university autonomy is reestablished, this is the climate in which Serbia's future leaders will receive their training. Academics and students interviewed by Human Rights Watch in November emphasized that the predictable consequences will be further brain drain, erosion of academic standards, and a chill on free expression in Serbia.

Government officials and university administrators close to the government have justified the law by stating that they are merely asserting the state's rights as "founder" of the universities and that the changes were necessary to prevent the campuses from again becoming a center of political protests. To the extent the law has been used by government-appointed university administrators to remove, sanction, or otherwise harass faculty members who have been critical of the government or active in the opposition, it violates internationally recognized human rights law. Such actions, when in response to legitimate and peaceful exercise by professors of their rights to free expression, association, and assembly, violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Yugoslavia is a signatory.

Some officials have also made vague assertions that professors had been using their classrooms for partisan political purposes. Although it is true that professors have an obligation not to use the classroom for such purposes, professors no less than other individuals have the right, as citizens, to state their views and participate in public affairs without fear of losing their jobs. Rather than using established disciplinary proceedings against alleged wrongdoers, Milosevic and his allies have chosen to launch an assault on the foundations of academic freedom and intellectual autonomy.

The crackdown on universities is significant, moreover, not only for the damage it is doing to higher education in Serbia, but also because it is undermining the establishment of strong and autonomous institutions of civil society, a precondition to any long-term resolution of the conflicts in the region. In principle, the university should be an institution open to all on the basis of merit, serving as an important resource not only to the state but also to individuals and interests independent of the ruling parties of the day. In practice, however, the new law appears to be turning universities into institutions that exclusively serve the interests of the present leaders of the Serbian government.

Shortly before this report went to press, government-appointed deans at the philology and electrical engineering faculties at the University of Belgrade softened their stance somewhat and invited suspended professors to return to their jobs. At both faculties, the deans had been under pressure from faculty members and students, many of whom were boycotting classes and exams, as well as from international observers and overseas colleagues. As described below, however, the actions of the two deans did not reestablish academic life as usual at the respective faculties, and hundreds of students and dozens of professors were continuing to boycott classes and exams. So long as the 1998 university law remains in effect, moreover, giving the government power to hire and fire deans and other administrators at will, academic freedom in Serbia will not be secure no matter what decisions are made in individual cases.

This report documents the state's politically motivated takeover of Serbia's academic institutions. It does not, however, address the grave abuses the government is committing in Kosovo against ethnic Albanians who have been denied access to Albanian-language education for close to a decade. Past Human Rights Watch reports have addressed discrimination in Kosovo and the government's attack on minority rights and academic freedom there.[1][1]


Human Rights Watch calls on the Serbian (republican) and Yugoslav (federal) governments to:

•           repeal theMay 1998 "University Act" and institute safeguards for university autonomy andacademic freedom in Serbia;

•reinstate facultymembers who have been fired, suspended, forcibly retired, or otherwise removedfrom their positions solely for legitimate and peaceful exercise of theirrights to free expression, association, and assembly;

•restore theacademic standing of students suspended for peacefully protesting the law;

•respectinternationally recognized guarantees of free expression, assembly, andassociation, including the exercise by professors and students of their rightsas citizens to hold opinions without interference and to express their viewswithout fear of expulsion, dismissal, or other forms of retaliation orintimidation;

•in anydisciplinary proceedingsagainst teaching staff, ensure that the right to freeexpression is respected by proceeding only on a case-by-case basis according tothe terms of existing employment contracts and, where applicable, existingguarantees of tenure. Such proceedings should be adjudicated by an impartialarbiter, giving the individual professor or teacher involved every opportunityto defend himself or herself according to recognized principles of contract lawand due process;

•respect therights of academics and students to communicate their views freely to thepublic via the media; prepare new media laws and regulations in full consultationwith the independent media in Yugoslavia that guarantee freedom of expression;and

•ceaseretaliatory arrests and beatings of student activists and adhere at all timesto international standards governing the policing of civilian protest.

Human Rights Watch calls on the United Nations to:

•urge thespecial rapporteur on the former Yugoslavia to make a priority of regularlymonitoring laws and regulations governing the universities, the media, and freeexpression in Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, report publicly onhis findings, develop specific recommendations for reform, and raise this issuein the context of discussions regarding the former Yugoslavia at the upcomingCommission on Human Rights; and

•urge therecently expanded mission in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) of thehigh commissioner for human rights, in cooperation with the special rapporteur,to exert and maintain pressure on the government to repeal the 1998 universitylaw and other legislation that violates freedom of expression.

Human Rights Watch calls on the international community,including the European Union and the United States, to:

•discuss theissues and recommendations raised in this report in bilateral and multilateralmeetings with Yugoslav government officials, and emphasize the importance ofYugoslavia respecting its international human rights obligations, including theright to free expression and assembly;

•provideassistance to Yugoslavia's civil society, especially local nongovernmental organizationsand the independent media; and

•fundinternational academic exchanges and facilitate continued access for Serbianacademics to professional materials and publications.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Council of Europe to:

•make anyfuture consideration of FRY's pending membership application contingent onestablishment of guarantees for academic freedom and free expression; and

•insist thatthe Parliamentary Assembly direct the relevant committee specifically to assessrestrictions on academic freedom in Serbia.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Organization for Securityand Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to:

•make thereadmission of the long-term observer mission a precondition to FRY readmissionto the OSCE, and ensure that the duties of the mission include regularmonitoring of laws and regulations governing universities, the media, and freeexpression in Serbia.

Human Rights Watch calls on members of the internationalacademic community to:

•continue tosend individual letters and institutional declarations of protest to YugoslavPresident Milosevic, Serbian Education Minister Todorovic, Serbian PresidentMilutinovic, and Rector Jagos Puric of the University of Belgrade;

•provide moraland material support to academic colleagues in Belgrade affected by thecrackdown, and to students arrested and beaten for expressing their views;

•donatetextbooks, subscriptions to scientific journals, and other teaching andresearch materials to independent academic organizations such as theAlternative Academic Educational Network (AAEN), a nonprofit organizationformed by professors in response to the assault on university autonomy;

•support theactivities of the AAEN in academic programs as visiting professors, or astemporary lecturers;

•invite firedor suspended professors for semester- or year-long sabbaticals at universitiesoutside of Yugoslavia; and

•mobilizeprofessional academic organizations worldwide to lobby the Yugoslav and Serbiangovernments to repeal the university law and reestablish academic freedom inthe country.


In1998, Yugoslav President Milosevic instituted far-reaching controls on both theindependent media and the university community. Although the subject of thisreport is the law on universities and its consequences for academic freedom andfree expression in Serbia, the crackdown on the campuses should be understoodas part of a larger campaign by the government to rein in independent inquiryand silence independent voices. This section begins with an overview of thegovernment's crackdown on the media in 1998, and then discusses the genesis ofthe campus controls.

TheMilosevic government has long implemented a variety of restrictions onYugoslavia's independent newspapers, magazines, and television and radiostations.[2][2]Censorship is not always blatant, but often is applied through financialcontrols, legal manipulation, and police harassment. The complex andcontradictory set of media laws in Serbia and Yugoslavia has made it difficultfor most independent radio and television stations to obtain frequencylicenses. At the same time, stations that are either blatantly pro-Milosevicor, at least, wholly uncritical have regularly obtained licenses. Despitenumerous promises, the government consistently has failed to introducelegislation that would allow private stations to obtain broadcast licenses in afair and apolitical manner.

InMarch 1998, five independent newspaper editors were charged with disseminatingmisinformation because they referred to Albanians who had died in Kosovo as"people"rather than"terrorists."The charges were laterdropped, but the state's action had a chilling effect on the press. On May 16,1998, the results of a public tender to obtain temporary broadcast licenseswere announced: the vast majority of independent radio and television stationsthat had applied for licenses were denied them, while numerous stations withclose business or political ties to the ruling elite were granted permission tobroadcast, including a radio station owned by Milosevic's son, Marko, and atelevision station for his daughter, Marija. In July, Mira Markovic, the headof the Yugoslav Left (JUL) party and Milosevic's influential wife, accusedYugoslavia's independent press of treason, a theme echoed the same month byMilosevic coalition partner Seselj, who asserted: "All you journalists workingin outlets which you know for sure get money from abroad should be aware thatyou are working for Serbia's enemies and against Yugoslavia, [that] you areworking for the foreign intelligence services."[3][3]

Thegovernment crackdown on independent media intensified when NATO forces werethreatening intervention in Kosovo in late September and early October. In aSerbian parliament session on September 29, Seselj said: "If we cannot grab alltheir [NATO] planes, we can grab those within our reach, like various Helsinkicommittees, and Quisling groups." In a press conference in Belgrade on October1, he proclaimed: "To those who we prove have participated in the service offoreign propaganda and those are the Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, RadioFree Europe, Radio France International, and the BBC radio service et cetera.If we find them in the moment of aggression they shouldn't expect anythinggood." The heightened rhetoric culminated with an emergency decree settingforth vague new restrictions on the media announced in early October. Many ofthe provisions of the decree were embodied later the same month in a new law,the Public Information Act.

Underthe new law, the government gave itself broad powers to ban foreign radio andtelevision broadcasts that it deemed to be "of a political-propaganda nature,"and provided for exorbitantly high fines for domestic media that violated thelaw. On October 23, the owner of Dnevni Telegraf and Evropljanin magazine,Slavko Curuvija, was charged with publicizing information "jeopardizing theterritorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Serbia and FederalRepublic of Yugoslavia" for, among other things, publishing an open letter to Milosevicstrongly criticizing the government. He and the magazines' editor and publisherwere found guilty and fined 2,400,000 dinars (U.S.$230,000), an enormous sum inYugoslavia even for a major publisher. In November and December, a number ofother publications were fined similarly devastating sums.

Throughout1998, the government also maintained direct control of state radio andtelevision, which provided news for the majority of the population. Stateprograms continued to glorify the government's accomplishments, conceal itsfailures and, most importantly, manipulate the fears of the population andspread disinformation about Kosovo. The government's control of the media alsolimited the public's access to information about violations of civil and politicalrights in parts of Serbia outside Kosovo, including the government'spolitically motivated takeover of the universities which is the subject of thisreport.

Serbia'scampuses were a center of protest during Tito's rule and have continued to becenters of dissent under Milosevic. Although, as elsewhere, universities inSerbia are home to a spectrum of political views, significant anti-Milosevicrallies have taken place on the campuses since the early 1990s. Today, thereare six public universities in Serbia-two in Belgrade, and one each in Nis,Kragujevac, Novi Sad, and Prishtina-enrolling roughly 100,000 students. Privateuniversities are few, with the largest, Brothers Karic University in Belgrade,enrolling only about one hundred students. The center of academic life inSerbia is the University of Belgrade. It is the largest university, withroughly 60,000 students at thirty faculties and over 4,000 professors,researchers, and lecturers. It is also where protest activity has beenstrongest and where the government crackdown has been most pronounced.

Inresponse to major protests in 1991 and 1992, the Milosevic government enactedlegislation increasing government representation on faculty councils at publicuniversities. Although there had been some government representation on suchcouncils prior to 1992, the new legislation expanded the membership of thecouncils so that the government controlled one-half of the seats. At theUniversity of Belgrade, the membership was expanded to seventy-six: thirty-eightseats for the government to match the thirty-eight seats already held byrepresentatives of the teaching staff (one representative for each of thethirty faculties at the university and one for each of the eight researchinstitutes that at the time were affiliated with the university). The newlegislation thus gave Milosevic effective veto power over major decisions atthe university.

Inlate 1996, notwithstanding increasingly direct government involvement inacademic affairs, the University of Belgrade emerged as a nationally prominentcenter of anti-government protest. For 119 consecutive days at the Universityof Belgrade, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets after thegovernment annulled the results of local elections that were won by theopposition coalition. The coalition, called Zajedno, consisted of threeparties: the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, and the CivicAlliance. On some days, crowds at the rallies in support of the coalitionreached 150,000 people.

Studentleaders at the University of Belgrade demanded recognition of the localelection results and removal of the rector (who had supported police actionsagainst the protesters). 3,450 professors, assistants, and researchers, sometwo-thirds of the staff at the university, signed a petition supporting thestudents' demands.[4][4]Protesters from diverse political backgrounds, from nationalist critics ofMilosevic to anti-war groups, united in the opposition.

InFebruary 1997, the government finally acknowledged the opposition's electoralvictories and in March the University of Belgrade rector stepped down. A majorsplit emerged between two of the parties that had formed Zajedno and thecoalition disintegrated. Likewise, the creative and spontaneous student movementgradually fell apart. The Democratic Party, the Civic Alliance, and ten otheropposition parties then boycotted several rounds of Serbian state elections in1997 due to what they saw as state control of the media, discriminatoryelection laws, and gerrymandering of election districts. In April 1998,Milosevic entered into an alliance with Vojislav Seselj, leader of theultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party. This was significant because, in thesecond round of the 1996 local elections, Seselj's backers had supported theZajedno coalition rather than Milosevic's SPS party, and, as swing voters, hadprovided the margin of victory for the opposition coalition.

Asa result of these developments, Milosevic and his ultra-nationalist alliesemerged in firm control of the government. At the time the new law onuniversities was enacted in May 1998, the opposition was in disarray and thecampuses were quiet. With international attention in the region focused onKosovo, Milosevic took the opportunity to crack down both on the independentpress and on the universities, particularly the University of Belgrade, thathad served as centers of the 1996-97 protests.

Institutionally,the universities had already fallen on hard times prior to the new law, theeffect of years of war, international sanctions, and slashed budgets. Facultyinterviewed by Human Rights Watch stated that the war and sanctions had slowedthe flow of goods and information into the country, including textbooks andscientific journals, to a trickle. Many of the best and brightest students andgraduates left the country. Milan Kurepa, a retired Yugoslav physicist, saidthat at the physics research institute that he had once headed, eleven offourteen researchers who hold doctorates have left the country in recent years,most for the United States and Canada, and that laboratory equipment hasstopped working, or is antiquated and deteriorating.[5][5]Nikola Tucic, a geneticist, said that of the last ten graduating classes inbiology, only a handful of students have remained in the country.[6][6]

Earlyin 1998, there had been some hope at the universities. Although governmentofficials had threatened to enact stringent new legislation to control thecampuses after the 1996-97 protests, no such action had been taken. Even thoughthe government had reserved for itself 50 percent of the places on universitycouncils, faculty members had managed to use quorum requirements and the 50percent of the votes still in faculty hands to defeat government efforts topunish professors who had been politically active. Milan Milutinovic, presidentof Serbia, had promised that new legislation on the universities would bedrafted in consultation with faculty leaders. On May 9, 1998, however, withoutprior warning, the government announced that it had drafted a new law on theuniversities for consideration in parliament later the same month.


OnMay 26, 1998, the Serbian parliament passed the University Act, giving theSerbian government broad new powers over public universities in Serbia. The lawwas published in the official gazette of the Republic of Serbia and signed intolaw on May 28, 1998. The University Act abolished the autonomy of theuniversities through the following measures:

•The law endedfaculty self-governance by mandating that university rectors and faculty deansbe appointed directly by the government (Article 108; Article 123, para. 2).The law then strengthened the power of the government-appointed rectors andfaculty deans through provisions giving each "the rights and duties of acompany director, unless otherwise determined by this Law" (Articles 109, 122).

•The lawcreated new university and faculty-level managing and supervisory boards, themembership of which is to be determined by the government, giving such boardsmany of the powers formerly exercised by elected faculty councils (Articles128, 131). Although such boards include places reserved for professors andstudents, such individuals are appointed by the government, and can be removedby the government and there is no provision for input or proposal of candidatesby teaching staff.

The law authorizes the government to shut down publicuniversities at its discretion (Article 18, para. 2).

•TheUniversity Act also abrogates existing contracts of teaching staff, includingthe contracts of tenured faculty members:

•The lawrequires that all professors and other teaching staff sign new employmentcontracts. Article 165 of the law states: "Employees of the University who havebegun employment up to the date of entry into force of this law are obliged toconclude a labor contract within 60 days of the entry into force of this Law."

"Depoliticizing" the Campuses

Asdescribed below, the ruling coalition has used the powers conferred by the newlaw to place its own people in university leadership positions and to dismiss,suspend, or otherwise sanction dissident professors. Since the law was enacted,administrators deemed unsuitable by the government have been replaced atuniversities across Serbia. Roughly 150 professors refused to sign the new"contracts," viewing them as unconstitutional and as akin to loyalty oaths.Fifteen of those professors have been fired, forty-six have been suspended orotherwise sanctioned, and the status of the rest remains uncertain. All whohave not signed have been threatened with dismissal.

Governmentofficials and university administrators close to the government have justifiedtheir actions by saying that they are merely asserting the state's rights as"founder" of the universities, that the faculty members who were targeted weremore interested in opposition politics than in teaching, and that the changeswere necessary to prevent the campuses from again becoming a center ofpolitical protests. The Serbian government's academic justification for itsassault on the universities is pernicious. Experience has repeatedlydemonstrated that academic freedom-and the spirit of critical inquiry itembodies-cannot flourish where members of the academic community must fear censorshipand politically motivated reprisals for the expression of their views. Althoughit is true that professors have an obligation not to use the classroom forpartisan political purposes, professors no less than other citizens have theright to state their views and participate in public affairs without fear oflosing their jobs. The government's actions have thoroughly politicized thecampuses, violating the rights of those professors who were fired or suspendedto express political views and chilling inquiry and expression on campus.

Ifuniversity officials believe that professors or other teaching staff are notfulfilling their responsibilities they should proceed against such individualson a case-by-case basis according to the terms of existing employment contractsand, where applicable, existing guarantees of tenure. Such proceedings shouldbe adjudicated by an impartial arbiter, giving the individual professor orteacher involved every opportunity to defend himself or herself according torecognized principles of contract law and due process. Finally, whatever themotives of the government in passing the University Act, the new law removesexisting safeguards for academic autonomy and thus opens the door to politicalmeddling in academic affairs by both present and future governments of Serbia.

Faculty and Student Response

Assoon as the law was announced on May 9, 1998 faculty members organized tooppose it, seeing it as politically motivated retribution for the role playedby the campuses in the 1996-97 protests and as a way to bring the entireacademic community to its knees. Prior to the May 26, 1998 parliamentarysession, academic councils at twenty-four of thirty faculties at the Universityof Belgrade issued resolutions declaring the law unacceptable, as did amajority of academic councils at universities nationwide. None of the councilsendorsed the law.

Facultygroups also issued statements condemning the law and put forward an alternativedraft law providing protections for university autonomy. Outside the Faculty ofPhilosophy in downtown Belgrade, a group called the Coordinating Committee forthe Defense of Universities in Serbia (CCDUS) held daily protests for threeweeks. The group obtained more than 15,000 signatures on a petition in oppositionto the draft law and more than 10,000 on a petition calling for enactment ofthe alternative law drafted by faculty members. Faculty efforts to oppose thenew law, however, were hampered by the fact that although faculty members wereable to get summaries and eventually a copy of the text of the proposed law,the full text was not made public until the law had been passed in parliament.

OnMay 26, the parliament met to consider the draft law. One faculty memberdescribed the atmosphere in parliament as follows: "Ordinarily parliamentaryhearings are not televised. This time they were. Government officials used theopportunity to demonize faculty members and portray the 1996-97 protests as thework of a small band of traitorous academics who had never done a hard day'swork in their entire lives. The entire presentation was anti-intellectual andanti-academic."[7][7]On the floor of parliament, Ratko Markovic, vice-president of the Serbiangovernment, reportedly asserted that the government, as "founder" of theuniversities, was merely taking back its ownership rights of the universityfrom faculty who had abused the public trust.[8][8]

Onthe day the law was passed, anti-riot police in Belgrade moved in onapproximately 1,500 protesting students, professors, and residents. At leastten students and professors required medical attention after the confrontation.Another student demonstration protesting the law was violently dispersed onJune 2, 1998. Both demonstrations reportedly had been nonviolent. The governmentclaimed that the protesters lacked proper permits for the rallies. In the weeksfollowing passage of the law, there was a strike by philosophy faculty inBelgrade and, at the University of Nis, 700 students occupied the philosophyfaculty building for three days.

OnJune 11, 350 professors at Belgrade and Nis issued a declaration condemning thelaw. Other professors brought a court case challenging the constitutionality ofthe law. By the end of the summer break, opposition to the law centered on the150 or so faculty members who were continuing to refuse to sign the contracts,and student groups, particularly students in those faculties most directlyaffected by the law. Many of those who signed the contracts, however, alsostrongly opposed the terms of the law, but determined that defiance would befutile given the stance of the government. In this sense, the law had adivisive impact. Nikola Tucic, a geneticist who is one of only a small handfulof professors in the biology faculty who refused to sign the contract,explained his predicament: "I have been pressured by my peers. Everyone saysthat they're opposed to the law, why should I stand out? I end up having toapologize for my refusal to sign. I understand their positions but I have sonswho are college age. I could not face them if I allow the principles I believein to be compromised in this way."[9][9]

Sincethe law was enacted in May 1998, more than fifty academics and severalprofessional academic associations in Europe and North America have protested thenew law. Within Serbia, many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well asfaculty and student associations have also spoken out, including CCDUS (seeabove), the University Committee for the Defense of Democracy, the BelgradeCenter for Human Rights, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, andthe Belgrade Circle. The analyses and reports of many of these groups are nowavailable on-line.[10][10]


OnJune 25, the government announced the names of new deans at the University ofBelgrade. Of thirty deans, sixteen were replaced even though the terms forwhich they had been elected had not expired. Four of the sixteen themselvesresigned in protest against the new law (Marija Bogdanovic, Fedor Zdanski, IvanJuranic, Zoran Kadelburg). All four had participated in the 1996-97 protests.Of the twelve deans who were removed by the government, at least half had takenpart in the 1996-97 protests. None of the replaced deans, however, were membersof political parties. By contrast, fifteen of the sixteen newly appointed deansare members of the ruling parties. In addition, Mr. Jagos Puric, the newlyappointed rector of the university, was formerly a prominent member of thecommunist party and is now a member of Mira Markovic's Yugoslav Left (JUL).

Priorto the new law, important academic decisions were in the hands of university-and faculty-level councils, at least one-half of the membership of whichconsisted of professors elected by the staff. Under the new law, most of thepower of the councils has passed directly to the deans or to the newlyconfigured university- and faculty-level governing boards. On June 29, thegovernment announced the names of the members of the new managing andsupervisory boards of the University of Belgrade and its component faculties.Nearly all of the appointees were members of one of the three ruling parties.

Atthe University of Belgrade, the university-level managing board has fifteenmembers: six faculty members, six members from outside the university, andthree students, all chosen by the government. The following list of individualsnamed to the board in June shows the extent to which the universityadministration is now in the hands of members of the ruling coalition partiesand, in many cases, of high-ranking party officials themselves:

•VojislavSeselj, Serbia's deputy prime minister, leader of the SRS;

•AlexandarVucic, Serbia's information minister, member of the SRS;

•Goran Matic,Yugoslav information minister, member of JUL;

•LeposavaMilicevic, Serbia's health minister, member of JUL;

•BorislavMilacic, Serbia's finance minister, member of the SPS;

•MomciloBabic, director of a state hospital in Belgrade, member of the SPS;

•JovoTodorovic, Yugoslav education minister, member of the SPS;

•BranislavIvkovic, Serbia's housing minister, member of the SPS;

•MilovanBojic, Serbia's vice-president and a leader of JUL;

•MilivojeSimonovic, a deputy minister of education, close to SPS leaders;

•TomislavDragovic, former pro-rector, ties to SPS;

•IvanRadosavljevic, political science professor, believed to be affiliated with JUL;

•Anja Babic,Drasko Gostiljac, and Igor Obradovic, students, all reportedly linked to JUL orthe SPS.[11][11]

Atthe individual faculties, thegovernment has pursued a similar strategy. Eachfaculty managing board is composed of nine members: four faculty members, twostudents, and three people from outside the faculty. As with theuniversity-level board, all of the members are appointed by the government. Atthe Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade, for example, themembership of the managing board includes: Aleksandar Vucic, Yugoslavinformation minister and a member of the SRS; Vladimir Stanbuk, dean of theFaculty of Political Science, vice-president of the Yugoslav parliament, and amember of JUL; Milos Aleksic, professor of sociology in the Faculty of Pharmacyand a close friend of Mira Markovic, head of JUL; and Milenko Govedarica, amember of the SPS.[12][12]

Inall, thirty-nine politicians influential in Serbia's ruling coalition werenamed to the managing and supervisory boards of the university and itscomponent faculties, many holding multiple positions. Vojislav Seselj,president of the ultra-nationalist SRS, now sits on the governing boards of theFaculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics as well as the governing board ofthe university. Another SRS leader, Aleksandar Vucic, now sits on the managingboard of the Faculty of Philosophy as well as the university-level board. GoranPercevic, vice-president of the SPS, was named to the governing board of theuniversity. Other influential members of the ruling parties named to one ormore governing boards include: Ivan Markovic, Radoman Bozovic, SrdjanSmiljkovic, Goran Trivan, Milos Aleksic, and Zivorad Djordjevic.

Facultyinterviewed by Human Rights Watch emphasized that, with few exceptions, thestudents appointed to the boards by the government are fierce ruling partyloyalists. In many cases, the students chosen by the government are studentswho have remained undergraduates into their late twenties and early thirties.[13][13]At the Faculty of Law, for example, students appointed to the managing boardincluded Miljkan Karlicic, a deputy minister of information, and VladanDraskovic, appointed by the government in 1998 as head of the formerlyindependent campus radio station Radio Index. Both Karlicic and Draskovic areover thirty years old and both took part in sealing the premises of radio andmagazine publishers that the government had ordered closed in October 1998.


Sinceenactment of the law, fifteen professors have been fired and at least forty-sixhave been suspended or otherwise sanctioned at the University of Belgrade. Inaddition, faculty members interviewed by Human Rights Watch estimate that atleast eighteen professors at the university quit in protest or retiredprematurely. Many other professors resigned as heads of departments andcommittee chairs. On November 27, the rector announced that he had received aletter from the minister of education, dated November 24, ordering him toinform all faculty members who had failed to sign the new contracts that theyhad fifteen days to sign new contracts. The letter further indicated that thepositions of all non-signatories who failed to use this "final opportunity"would be advertised as vacancies. As this report was prepared, this order hadnot yet been implemented and the status of all who had not signed remained indoubt. A list of professors fired, suspended, or who quit in protest is setforth in Appendix A.

Theprecise implications of the new contract requirement have never been clear. Thecontract requirement is contrary to the express dictates of Serbian laborrelations law. According to a law enacted in 1995, "Employees who have begunemployment up to the day of entry into force of [this law] are not obliged toconclude labor contracts. Employees who up to this day have concluded a laborcontract are not obliged to conclude a new labor contract."[14][14]The new requirment clearly violated the latter provision. As indicated above,moreover, the provision of the law on universities setting forth the newcontract requirement, Article 165, provides little guidance. The provision simplystates: "Employees of the University who have begun employment up to the dateof entry into force of this law are obliged to conclude a labor contract within60 days of the entry into force of this Law." The law does not expresslydeclare existing contracts null and void, provide for penalties for those whorefuse to sign new contracts, or state what terms are to be included in the newcontracts.

Thefirst weeks after the university law passed were accordingly somewhat chaotic,with different deans imposing different requirements on staff. Eventually,however, a standard "contract" was developed which professors at nearly allfaculties were asked to sign. Notably, the new contracts do not alter salary,duration of employment, or other key provisions of existing contracts. Thecontracts are largely devoid of substantive provisions, consisting principallyof a statement that the professor agrees to abide by the terms of the new law.The contracts do, however, include provisions that professors agree to be transferredshould the dean determine that transfer is appropriate and that either side maycancel the contract at will. Many of the professors who ultimately agreed tosign the contracts as well as those who refused to do so agreed that thecontract requirement was essentially a loyalty oath. As one professor put it:"The reason for the contract is simple. [The government wants] to know: are youwith us or against us?"[15][15]

Dismissalsand suspensions under the new law have been concentrated in three of the facultiesin which protest activity in 1996-97 had been particularly strong: philology,electrical engineering, and law. The impact of the law in those three facultiesis described in detail in separate sections below. In the Faculty ofPhilosophy, which had been the center of protests (and in which several majorsocial science departments, as well as history and philosophy are located),however, there have not yet been any firings or suspensions. Faculty membersspeculate that this is so because over seventy professors, nearly one-third thestaff, refused to sign contracts and the government fears that if they were allfired or suspended, the entire teaching schedule would be thrown into chaos andthe students could grow restless. Government officials, however, have statedthat they intend to disband the faculty and move its component departments toother faculties. Depending on how the government perceives its strength, thephilosophy faculty could be the government's next target.


Atthe Faculty of Philology, Prof. Radmilo Marojevic, a member of theultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party and a professor of Russian, wasappointed as the new dean. Marojevic himself reportedly stated publicly that hewas appointed through the efforts of Seselj.[16][16]Marojevic, who spent much of the last five years in Moscow, is also aself-proclaimed admirer of Zhirinovsky, the Russian nationalist, whom Marojevicclaims to have personally introduced to Seselj.

Marojevichas brought his pan-Slavic and Serb nationalist views to his new job. Asdescribed below, he has moved aggressively to dismiss dissident faculty and toreformulate the curriculum. Because only the government has the power to removehim, he is not obliged to take into consideration the views of independentfaculty, 104 of whom in November 1998 signed a petition calling for hisremoval.[17][17]

Inan interview on July 2, 1998, shortly after he was appointed dean, Marojeviccriticized some of his colleagues among the new government appointees. Althoughpleased with the overall composition of the new university leaders, he said: "Istill see some persons [among the new deans] who cannot truly be deans at areally creative Serbian university, because they still favor positions ofanti-Serb Yugoslavness. I noticed that, when we were signing, some deans didnot know how to sign their names in Cyrillic, or did not want to, and theyteach at a Serbian university."[18][18]In the same interview, stating that "foreign intelligence services" were behindthe campus protests in 1996-97, Marojevic praised the new law for giving newadministrators power to eliminate purported foreign agents.[19][19]Asserting that "our country and our culture are somehow under occupation fromwithin," and that the country is facing "a fifth column in scholarship, inculture, everywhere," Marojevic called the changes to the universitiesintroduced by the government "a good attempt to return a Serbian character, anational, cultural, and authentic character, to this university."[20][20]

Insubsequent weeks, Marojevic announced that professors could not leave Belgradeor take their holiday leave until after August 5, the deadline under theUniversity Act for all professors to sign new employment contracts.[21][21]Marojevic also interpreted the requirement that professors sign new employmentcontracts broadly, stating: "It is not only a question of whether a professoror associate wants to sign the contract, but whether I, as the dean of thefaculty, who defends the interests of the Republic of Serbia and itsscholarship and education in this case, shall want to sign it."[22][22]

Suspension of Nineteen Professors; Dismissal of Six

OnSeptember 30, Marojevic announced that all of the professors at the faculty whohad refused to sign new contracts were being relieved of their teaching duties.This group, numbering nineteen, was not fired outright but was transferred to apreviously non-existent "Center for Scientific Research Work and Publications."Among them were thirteen of the fourteen professors at the Department of WorldLiterature (see below).

OnNovember 12, six of the professors who had been transferred to the new "center"were fired. Under Serbian labor law, employees may be fired for failure to showup for work five days in succession. The professors, refusing to comply withwhat they saw as an unlawful transfer, had not shown up at the room that thedean had specified as the new "center." The six professors who were fired are:Vladeta Jankovic (World Literature; Classics); Djordje Trifunovic (YugoslavLiterature), Zoran Milutinovic (Comparative Literature), Aleksandar Ilic,(World Literature), Slobodan Vukobrat (English Language and Literature) andBranka Nikolic (Hebraic Language). All six had been active in the 1996-97 anti-governmentprotests, and two, Jankovic and Ilic, are well-known opposition figures.

Changes to the Curriculum

Soonafter his appointment, Marojevic announced his intention to disband theDepartment of World Literature. As noted above, thirteen of the fourteenmembers of the teaching staff in the department had refused to sign contracts,and several of them were well known members of opposition parties. The chairmanof the department, Professor Vladeta Jankovic, is chairman of an oppositionparty (the Democratic Party of Serbia), and had engaged in heated publicpolemics with Seselj. On September 30, Marojevic carried out his threat. Thesole professor in the World Literature Department who had signed a contract wastransferred to the University of Novi Sad and the department formally ceased toexist at the University of Belgrade.

Overthe opposition of the faculty, Marojevic made several other changes to thecurriculum, including the following:

•he renamedCroatian literature the "literature of Catholic Serbs";

•hereorganized fourteen departments into five to consolidate his authority;

•Marojevic, aprofessor of Russian grammar, introduced Russian as the obligatory firstforeign language for all post-graduate students. Students must choose betweenPolish and Czech as a second language and can elect English, French, or German,previously the languages of choice, only as a third language.[23][23]

RankoBugarski, a leading Serbian linguist whose case is described below, said ofMarojevic in this regard:

He'sreally not aware of how his actions appear to his colleagues. . . . He knows heis strong politically, so he's confident, not careful about the moves he makes.As a Slavicist, he sees a chance to bolster Russian studies and Serbian studieseven without the approval of the faculty. First he attacks world literature,then he makes Russian mandatory for all graduate students, and then he takeshis pet theory - Croats had only dialectical language and what everyone callsCroatian is not in fact Croatian - and makes it university policy. So there isto be no mention of Croatian language or literature. He had expressed theseideas before and no one took them seriously. Now, with government backing, hisprivate fantasies are made into the new truth about these things. Slavicistswill think this is the official Serbian view. It is madness, but it is nowstate madness.[24][24]

Case of Ranko Bugarski

Oneof Marojevic's first acts as dean was to attempt to dismiss Professor RankoBugarski. Bugarski brought suit against Marojevic and eventually won aninjunction temporarily allowing him to remain on the faculty. His case,however, shows the extent to which the university law has given rein topersonal animosity and political criteria as a basis for academic decisionmaking.

RankoBugarski, on the faculty for thirty-seven years, is one of the most respectedlanguage scholars in the country and has taught overseas on several occasions,including as a Fulbright lecturer in linguistics at the University of Chicagoin the 1970s. Prior to the new law, Bugarski and Marojevic had clashed publiclyon a number of politically charged linguistic matters, including the propername of the language (Marojevic favored "Serbian" and Bugarski"Serbo-Croatian") and the use of the Cyrillic alphabet (Marojevic favoredexclusive use of Cyrillic and Bugarski argued for continued use of bothCyrillic and Roman alphabets).

Soonafter he was appointed, Marojevic asserted that Bugarski was no longer eligibleto work at the university because he had reached the mandatory retirement ageof sixty-five. Professor Bugarski, however, had signed a new two-year contractunder the former dean in May 1998 and the Serbian Labor Relations Act expresslyauthorizes such an extension. Using the broad powers given him under the newlaw, however, Marojevic declared a new policy: no extensions would be given tothose who reach the age of sixty-five and all of the extensions given by hispredecessors would be vacated. Bugarski was the only professor affected by thenew policy.

Ina long interview with the Serbian newspaper Danas in July 1998, Bugarskidiscussed the situation in detail. The interview is excerpted below:

Atthe first meeting of the Faculty Board, which was led by the recently appointeddean, Radmilo Marojevic, I resigned from all of the functions that I hadformerly been responsible for. At the time, I announced my resignation from mypost as the head of the General Linguistics Department, as the director of theCenter for Graduate Studies and as a member of the Planning Committee. I alsosaid at that time that I would remain in my teaching post, that is, so long asI was not removed by the effects of the newly imposed university "autonomy."[25][25]My resignation of the administrative posts was a clear declaration of protestagainst the new university law, which, among other things, enables thegovernment to appoint deans who are no longer to be elected by theircolleagues. I simply did not want to hold any (administrative) functions underthe new Law, but I wanted to stay at the Faculty, in my teaching position, as Ifelt needed by my students and younger colleagues.

Atthe press conference that he held at the Faculty [after my resignation from theadministrative posts], the new dean said that "those resignations were probablycoerced [by his colleagues], as professor Bugarski is, according to law,supposed to retire on the first of October." This explanation makes no sense.The resignations were not coerced, and I had already obtained, by the decisionof the former dean, a two-year extension delaying my mandatory retirement. . ..

WhatMarojevic is doing is essentially what he was brought in to do, what he wasappointed to do, but he is doing more than that. He is working for the highestgrade- "stands above the rest." [But] he is brought here just like all theother deans under the new law, to pacify the university, to prevent futurestudent protests, to, as they say, "bring the University back to learning," andthat really means of course that there is "no political turbulence." To bringthe university under absolute political control-that is the only reason forthis law, and [it is done] under the guise of depoliticization. This dean saysthat there will be no political activities. What more political activity do youwant than the imposition by the government of a dean, selected right out of theranks of one of the governing parties? . . . In order to be a dean or a rector,one has to belong to the ruling party and to carry out its orders.[26][26]

Inmid-December, under pressure from striking students and faculty, Marojevicinvited suspended professors to return to their jobs, for the first timesoftening his stance. Marojevic stated that, in suspending the professors, hehad followed what he thought was the directive of the minister of education,but that since other deans had not suspended staff who had not signedcontracts, he would allow them to return to work. Marojevic also stated,however, that it would be for courts to decide the status of professors who hadbeen dismissed. At the time this report went to press, students at the facultybacked by dozens of faculty members continued to demand that the dean resign.


Atthe Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the government appointed Vlada Teodosicas dean. Teodosic was not popular among his colleagues, was not a leadingscientist, and had much less administrative experience than many other staffmembers. He was known, however, as a strong nationalist. Although facultymembers told Human Rights Watch that Teodosic at the time was not identifiedwith any particular political party, the new dean of the philology facultyMarojevic (see above) reportedly publicly stated that both he and Teodosic hadbeen appointed by Seselj, head of the Serbian Radical Party.

Atthe same time that Teodosic was appointed as dean, Milos Laban was appointed bythe government to the new managing board of the faculty. Laban, an unsuccessfulcandidate of Milosevic's SPS party in parliamentary elections in 1990 and 1992,had been refused an appointment as an associate professor in the faculty in1991 when such decisions were made by a vote of the professors. In a futileeffort, Laban had gone to court to force the faculty members to reverse theirdecision. Soon after being appointed dean, Teodosic named Laban as an associateprofessor. Although Teodosic's decision was challenged and ultimatelyoverturned by the minister of education, Laban retained his position on themanaging board and has continued to be a powerful presence on the faculty and avocal defender of Teodosic (see below).

Case of Slavoljub Marjanovic

OnJuly 8, 1998, one week after he took over as dean, Teodosic issued a decisionstripping engineering Professor Slavoljub Marjanovic of "all rights andobligations . . . for the subjects of Electronics I and II." Marjanovic, ahighly respected professor with a doctorate from Birmingham University andtwenty-eight years on the faculty, had long been a political enemy of Teodosic.The action against Prof. Marjanovic appears to have been taken in retaliationfor his opposition to the changes taking place under the new law. At thebeginning of July, Marjanovic, who already had been threatened with suspensionby the new dean, stated on the acknowledgments page of his newly releasedtextbook on electronics that he was omitting the names of his colleagues tosave them from potential harassment by the new faculty authorities. He wasrelieved of teaching duties shortly thereafter.

Suspension of twelve professors

Inall, twelve professors at the faculty refused to sign new contracts, one ofwhom was Marjanovic, whose case is described above, and another of whomvoluntarily retired shortly after the new law was enacted. The fate of theremaining ten was not made clear until the teaching schedule was posted onOctober 22, one week before classes were to begin. None of the ten appeared onthe schedule. Subsequently, in a letter dated November 3, 1998, Teodosictransferred the professors, as their counterparts in the Faculty of Philologyhad been transferred, to a previously nonexistent "research institute." The tenprofessors who were suspended are: Branko Popovic, Dejan Zivkovic, DusanVelasevic, Jovan Radunovic, Borivoj Lazic, Srbijanka Turajlic, MilenkoCvetinovic, Vladana Likar-Smiljanic, Milan Ponjavic, and Tepavcevic Predrag.Slavoljub Marjanovic was also assigned to the "institute."

HumanRights Watch visited the premises of the "research institute" on November 10.It consists of a single, dusty office in a building about one block from themain faculty building. The room is furnished with only five or six small desks,and has no telephone, computers, or typewriters.

Shortlyafter suspending the professors, the dean hired private security guards toprohibit the professors from entering the classrooms where they had formerlytaught. When one of the suspended professors, Dejan Zukovic, tried to enter theclassroom where he had taught for twelve years, he was physically carried outof the building by the guards. Another professor physically removed from thebuilding was Branko Popovic, a scientist of international standing, the authorof several text books and nearly 150 articles, and a recipient of awards fromseveral international scientific societies. When Popovic was denied entry tohis former classroom, he continued his lecture on the street outside thefaculty building using a megaphone to address the students.[27][27]

Laban,the faculty administrator described above, who had accompanied the securityguards as they ejected the suspended professors from the faculty building,subsequently defended the policy as follows: "according to the new law onuniversities, the dean, as a director of a firm, has the right to hire[security guards] if he estimates that the normal functioning of the firm is inquestion." Popovic told Human Rights Watch that the suspended professors werethereafter barred from the main faculty building and that he was refusedentrance even to process his health insurance renewal.[28][28]

Suspension of students Veljko Janjic and Stevan Koprivica

OnNovember 27, 1998, Veljko Janjic, a fourth year student at the faculty, andStevan Koprivica, a third year student, were suspended. Both had been active instudent politics. Koprivica is the president of the student union at thefaculty and had taken a leading role in organizing student protests against thenew law. The student demands had included replacement of the dean, removal ofMilos Laban from the managing board of the faculty, removal of the privatesecurity guards from the faculty building, reinstatement of the professors whohad been expelled from the faculty because they had refused to sign the newcontracts, and an end to all pending disciplinary actions against professorsand students.

AsJanjic told Human Rights Watch:

Everyday at noon we would have a student demonstration in front of the building, andI usually gave a speech. Then, on November 27, I received a telegram sent to myhome address signed by Teodosic. It said that I was not allowed to enter thefaculty building until the Disciplinary Committee decides on my punishment. Thedean picks the members of the Disciplinary Committee.

Thetelegram said I was being punished because I had been the organizer of studentswho had interfered with lessons and called a strike. The same message was sentto Stevan Koprivica.[29][29]

Janjictold Human Rights Watch that the policy had been strictly enforced. Both he andKoprivica have been physically denied access to the faculty premises and havebeen prevented from resuming their studies. Janjic also said that the dean hadindicated that he would seek to have the two students suspended for two years.

Internet Censorship

OnDecember 10, Teodosic ordered "filters" to prevent users of the Yugoslavacademic Internet network from accessing the OpenNet website, a major source ofindependent news and information. OpenNet was created by the Internetdepartment of Belgrade's independent Radio B92. The measure affected thousandsof students, professors, and researchers in Serbia who use the internet oncampus and also limited access to dozens of other user groups on the network,including independent media organizations and most nongovernmentalorganizations in the country.

Teodosicordered the blockage of the OpenNet site using his authority over the computingcenter at the University of Belgrade. The immediate motive for blocking OpenNetaccess appears to have been a link on the website to a political cartoon thatshowed Teodosic in a Nazi uniform giving a Nazi salute. The cartoon also portrayedthe administrator Milos Laban as a monkey.[30][30]

Inmid-December, Teodosic, like Dean Marojevic of the Faculty of Philology, alsopublicly softened his stance somewhat and invited suspended professors toreturn to work. As in the Faculty of Philology, the development came asstudents and faculty were boycotting classes and exams. Eight of the suspendedprofessors agreed to return to their posts, but, at the time this report wasprepared, security guards continued to be stationed at the entrance to the facultyand students continued on strike, demanding that Laban be removed from hisadministrative position and that the guards be removed from the facultyentrance.


OliverAntic, a long-time Milosevic associate, was appointed the new dean of the lawfaculty. The decision appointing Antic reportedly came directly from the officeof the prime minister of Serbia.[31][31]While still a student, Antic had been active in communist youth organizationsand had become a prominent member of the League of Communists. He is now aself-declared nationalist and a member of Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia(SPS). He is remembered by many of his colleagues on the law faculty for hisrole as a communist student leader in a purge of faculty members carried out inthe mid-70s, the last major purge at the faculty.[32][32]Antic did not require that professors in the Faculty of Law sign new contracts,but he has not hesitated to move against political opponents of Milosevic andagainst those who publicly opposed the new law.

Ina public statement in November, Antic stated that he would "bring order to theFaculty of Law, which is a breeding ground of the Civic Alliance."[33][33]As noted above, the Civic Alliance is one of the three opposition parties thathad formed the opposition Zajedno coalition that won local elections in 1996.It is a small party known for its public commitment to the defense of civilrights and opposition to the war in Bosnia. Antic's remarks made explicit thepolitical motivations for several of the actions described below. Four membersof the law faculty were members of the party, three of whom were fired.

Case of Vladimir Vodinelic

Thefirst victim of the new law at the Faculty of Law was Vladimir Vodinelic,recognized by colleagues and former students alike as an outstanding professorand as the leading Yugoslav authority on civil law. Vodinelic had taught at thefaculty for twenty-seven years and is the author of many articles and texts,including model legislation on the media and other subjects.

At the time of the new law, Vodinelic was awaitingappointment as a tenured professor. He had been recommended in glowing terms byhis peers and was awaiting final university decision by the university council,which had been scheduled to meet on June 22. Prior to that meeting, however,the new law came into force and the minister of education directed that allfaculty appointments were to be made by the new deans. Procedures initiatedunder the old act were to be suspended. Antic used the lapse of Vodinelic'sprevious five-year appointment as an excuse not merely to oppose his promotionbut to fire him.

Vodinelic'sposition was formally terminated on August 31, 1998. According to one report,the dean gave inconsistent statements of the reasons for the dismissal: "Tosome he said that Vodinelic was a security risk and had a file in the secretpolice and to others that he was disliked by colleagues. . . . In laterstatements Antic accused Vodinelic of being intolerant and, in a return to‘communese,' said that Vodinelic had allegedly been given an ‘opportunity toimprove,' which he had refused. The dean probably was referring to hints thatVodinelic would be moved to the library or some other non-teaching job, a‘pedagogical' measure used by communists 25 years ago; allusions were also madeto Vodinelic's Croat origins and thus his opportunity to find work abroad."[34][34]Although Vodinelic is not a member of any political party, his wife (laterfired, see below) is a member of the Civic Alliance and Vodinelic has describedhimself as "opposition minded."[35][35]Vodinelic believes that the real reason he was fired is "the revival of the oldCommunist category of the politically correct person."[36][36]

Case of Dragoljub Popovic, Dragor Hiber, and MirjanaStefanovski

Immediatelyafter Vodinelic was fired, fifteen of his colleagues announced a strikeeffective September 7. All sixteen had previously announced their opposition tothe new law in a public declaration. The strike came as exams were beginning.On September 14, three of the striking professors received written notice thatthey had been fired. The three were Dragoljub Popovic, former MP from theDemocratic Party of Serbia, Mirjana Stefanovski, a supporter of the party, andDragor Hiber, active in the Civic Alliance Party and a vocal critic ofMilosevic. As in the Faculty of Philology, the dismissals had been based on aprovision in Serbian law allowing an employer to fire employees who fail toappear at work for more than five consecutive days without excuse.

Suspension of Ten Professors

OnSeptember 29, Antic suspended ten of the remaining twelve professors who hadsigned the public declaration against the new law, stating that, in lieu offiring them, he was offering them time to come to their senses. The ten wereKosta Cavoski, Jovica Trkulja, Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic, Radmila Vasic, MirjanaTodorovic, Gaso Knezevic, Slobodanka Nedovic, Dragica Vujadinovic, AleksandraJovanovic, and Vojin Dimitrijevic. The two professors among the originalsixteen who were not suspended-Danilo Basta and Miroljub Labus-announced thatthey would not enter the faculty building until the prior decisions of Antichad been annulled. Another professor, Olga Popovic-Obradovic, and severallecturers stated that they were joining the strike.

Overthe next two months, professors who had been suspended but not yet fired werecalled in for disciplinary hearings, with the dean as prosecutor and the deputydean as judge. The most common disciplinary measure was a 20 percent salarycut.

Case of Vojin Dimitrijevic

Thenew dean also forced Vojin Dimitrijevic into early retirement. Dimitrijevic hadlong been a internationally prominent member of the faculty and has beenvisiting professor at universities in the United States, Norway, and Sweden. Heserved from 1982 to 1994 on the prestigious U.N. Human Rights Committee, whichis composed of eighteen independent members and meets in Geneva and New York(he was elected rapporteur and later vice-chairman). He was also active in theCivic Alliance party and, in 1993, founded the Belgrade Center for HumanRights. Although Dimitrijevic had reached retirement age, he had been granted atwo-year extension by vote of the faculty in 1997 along with four otherprofessors who had reached retirement age. That extension had been upheld incourt when challenged by the Serbian minister of education; the court thenissued a temporary injunction against the then dean, which the new dean hasrefused to respect

Shortlyafter Popovic, Hiber, and Stefanovski were fired, Deputy Prime MinisterVojislav Seselj told reporters that Dimitrijevic had been "spared" in order togive him a chance to "reform." A few days later, however, Dimitrijevic wasfired. Ignoring the 1997 court decision as well as Dimitrijevic's pendingchallenge to Antic's suspension order, Dimitrijevic was ordered to clean outhis office within twenty-four hours. The other four senior professors who hadbeen given two-year extensions were not retired. Under the terms of thedecision in 1997 and the provisions of the Labor Act Dimitrijevic's retirementbefore the end of the academic year 1998-1999 was not legally possible. Thematter is under appeal; the Municipal Court in Belgrade confirmed the 1997injunction but refused to act against the new dean.

Case of Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic

OnNovember 12, Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic, an expert in civil procedure, was dismissedafter twenty years on the faculty. Rakic-Vodinelic is the author of variouslegal reform proposals and a critique of the university law, and she is activein the Civic Alliance. She is also the wife of Vladimir Vodinelic, whose caseis discussed above. Rakic-Vodinelic was among the sixteen professors whorefused to sign new contracts and among the ten professors suspended for goingon strike, but she is the only professor to have been fired after adisciplinary hearing.

Rakic-Vodinelic,who had been given a day's notice of her disciplinary hearing (eight days isrequired under Serbian labor law), did not attend the hearing but she sent herlawyer to find out the status of her case. The hearing proceeded in herabsence. She was accused of missing work like the others who had been suspendedbut, in addition, she was accused of having slandered the faculty in publicstatements. Rakic-Vodinelic told Human Rights Watch that her lawyer hadchallenged the slander charge on grounds that the allegation was so vague thatit was impossible to defend against, and that the dean had then withdrawn theaccusation.[37][37]Although the charges against her thus ended up being identical to those againstthe other suspended professors who had received fines, she was dismissed.

Suspension of Marija Rudic

Inlate October, law students arranged a seminar in which two of the suspended lawprofessors, Kosta Cavoski and Jovica Trkulja, were to discuss the purge offaculty members in the mid-1970s. The dean refused to allow the seminar toproceed, locking the room where the seminar was to be held. He also broughtdisciplinary proceedings against Marija Rudic, a student alleged to haveorganized the seminar. Rudic, an excellent student in her last year at thefaculty, was a member of an autonomous student parliament created after the1996-97 protests. On November 10, the dean temporarily suspended Rudic, issuingan order barring her from examinations and prohibiting her from obtaining herschool records (necessary for transfer to another faculty). After faculty andstudent protests, however, Rudic was given a warning and was allowed to resumeclasses.


Inaddition to the faculty and student reactions described in the above sections,two new organizations emerged in Belgrade in response to the law. Soon afterthe law was enacted, professors from several faculties (including both sciencesand humanities specialists) formed the Alternative Academic Educational Network(AAEN). The stated intention of the group is to keep independent teaching andscholarship alive in Serbia. The organization does not have the authority togrant degrees but so far has been tolerated by the government and is planningfive programs of study to start in January 1999. The AAEN mission statement,which sets forth the objectives of the new organization, and a letter of appealfrom AAEN to the international academic community, released in December 1998, areattached to this report as appendices B and C, respectively.

InOctober, students from several faculties formed a new organization called Otpor("Resistance"). Based on their experience in 1996-97, the students haveinsisted that the organization be strictly independent of ties to any politicalparty, although its members include students active in established oppositionparties. The Otpor symbol, a black fist against a white background, is nowvisible on fliers, stickers, and walls in many parts of Belgrade. The group hasorganized rallies at the University of Belgrade against the university law. OnDecember 18, Otpor organized a march to Novi Sad. Some fifty members made themarch to commemorate the second anniversary of a 1996 march by 150 Novi Sad studentsto Belgrade in support of the protests then centered there. Otpor organizerssaid that the 1998 march was held to draw attention to the fact that thecrackdowns on the universities and the press were Serbia-wide problems.[38][38]

Otporattracted the attention of government authorities soon after it was formed. OnNovember 4, 1998, University of Belgrade students and Otpor members NikolaVasiljevic (nineteen), Dragana Milinkovic (twenty-two), Marina Glisic(twenty-two), and Teodora Tabacki (twenty-two) were sentenced to ten daysimprisonment. The students had been convicted of spray-painting the Otporsymbol on walls of buildings in downtown Belgrade and writing slogans againstthe new university and press laws. Comparable first-time offenders, such asfootball hooligans, routinely are fined, not imprisoned, for graffiti.

Theclose link between the crackdown on the media and the universities wasdemonstrated in November when the owner and editor-in-chief of the DevniTelegraf (Daily Telegraph), one of Belgrade's leading dailies, was fined1,200,000 dinars (about U.S.$110,000) for carrying the Otpor manifesto as apaid advertisement. Charges against the newspaper were brought by BratislavaMorina, a member of the Yugoslav Left. Morina claimed she had been offended bythe advertisement which read in full: "Resistance is the answer! There is noother way. It will be too late when someone close to you starves to death, whenthey start killing people on streets, when they turn off all the lights, andpoison the last spring. It will be too late. This is not a system, This is adisease. Bite the system! Get Hold Of Yourself, Live The Resistance."

Violence against Students

PriorHuman Rights Watch reports have documented government violence againstpolitical protesters and student activists.[39][39]In separate incidents in December 1998, members of Otpor were beaten by policeand attacked by unknown assailants believed to be acting at the request ofSerbian authorities.

OnDecember 14, 1998, at a campus ceremony commemorating the sixty-firstanniversary of the Faculty of Economics, an event attended by high-rankingrepresentatives of the ruling coalition parties including figures such asVojislav Seselj and Ratko Markovic, Otpor students greeted the national anthemwith protest whistles (a trademark of student protests in 1996-97) and thensurreptitiously unfurled a flag carrying the Otpor symbol from the second floorof the faculty building. Although no one was caught, the following day policein Belgrade arrested twenty-five-year-old student and Otpor leader SrdjaPopovic. In a press statement after his release, Popovic described hisexperience as follows:

Iwas arrested at Kolarceva Street by a group of policemen who jumped out of ajeep. The arrest was conducted in a rather spectacular manner, sort of like inAmerican movies. During the arrest and search, I was not told why they werearresting me...

Whenwe arrived at the police station in Majke Jevrosime Street, the policemen beatme. They were hitting my legs and my chest for about twenty minutes. Theofficer with badge number 101559 was the most eager to beat me. He also told methat he would like to be in Iraq, because he could put a bullet in my head andno one would care. They handcuffed me, we left the police station, got into thevehicles, and [I was transferred to another] police station at 29 NovemberStreet.

Threefriends that came to ask about me were also arrested at this police station,and one of them was beaten up. At this station, they harassed me again. Theymade me take my clothes off and on several times. The officer with badge number101559 told me that he would tear my head off if he ever saw me again.

Popovic'sattorney subsequently said that Popovic had been arrested by a special policeunit and was then turned over to a regular unit. He also said that neither ofthe units could explain why he had been arrested, suggesting a politicalmotive.[40][40]

Thesecond incident occurred on the night of December 29, 1998. Boris Karajcic, amember of Otpor who had traveled to the United States and had testified beforethe U.S. Congress in November 1998, was returning to his apartment after a latenight Otpor meeting when he was attacked by two unknown assailants. After beingtreated in a local hospital, Karajcic, a senior in the Department of GermanLanguage in the Faculty of Philology, described his experience as follows:

Justafter a friend of mine drove me to my apartment building, I started walkingtoward the entrance. All of the sudden out from the dark, a bat"shined"while flying toward me and hit me so hard that I fell downon the ground. I was laying down for some 15 minutes and got some punches inthe kidney area. When they started to run away, I noticed two silhouettes.[Before leaving,] the attackers told me to say hello to my friends in Otpor.[41][41]


University of Belgrade Faculty Members
Who Have Been Dismissed or Suspended, or Who Have Left the Faculty in Protest[42][42]


Atthe Faculty of Law:

Assoc. Prof. Vladimir Vodinelic

Prof. Dragoljub Popovic

Assoc. Prof. Dragor Hiber

Asst. Prof. Mirjana Stefanovski

Assoc. Prof. Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic

Asst.[43][43]Goran Svilanovic

Prof. Vojin Dimitrijevic (forced to retire despitecontract extension)

Atthe Faculty of Philology:

Prof. Vladeta Jankovic

Prof. Slobodan Vukobrat

Prof. Djordje Trifunovic

Assoc. Prof. Aleksandar Ilic

Asst. Prof. Zoran Milutinovic

Asst. Branka Nikolic

Lecturer Srdjan Vujica

Lecturer Predrag Stanojevic[44][44]


Atthe Faculty of Law:

Prof. Kosta Cavoski

Prof. Gaso Knezevic

Assoc. Prof. Mirjana Todorovic

Assoc. Prof. Jovica Trkulja

Assoc. Prof. Aleksandra Jovanovic

Assoc. Prof. Radmila Vasic

Asst.. Prof. Slobodanka Nedovic

Asst.. Prof. Dragica Vujadinovic

Asst.. Prof. Olga Popovic

Atthe Faculty of Philology:

Prof. Dragan Stojanovic

Prof. Ljubisa Jeremic

Assoc. Prof. Ljubomir Ziropadja

Assoc. Prof. Mirka Zogovic

Asst.. Prof. Miodrag Loma

Lector[45][45]Aleksandra Bajazetov-Vucen

Asst. Kornelija Icin

Asst. Adrijana Marcetic

Asst. Jasmina Moskovljevic

Asst. Djordjije Vukovic

Asst. Zorica Nedeljkovic-Vitic

Asst. Zorica Becanovic-Nikolic

Asst. Predrag Brebanovic

Atthe Faculty of Electrical Engineering:

Prof. Branko Popovic

Prof. Dragan Vasiljevic

Prof. Slavoljub Marjanovic

Prof. Dejan Zivkovic

Prof. Dusan Velasevic

Prof. Jovan Radunovic

Assoc. Prof. Borivoje Lazic

Assoc. Prof. Srbijanka Turajlic

Assoc. Prof. Milenko Cvetinovic

Assoc. Prof. Vladana Likar-Smiljanic

Asst. Milan Ponjavic

Lecturer Predrag Tepavcevic

Atthe Faculty of Special Education:

Prof. Zarko Trebjesanin

Assoc. Prof. Jelena Djordjevic

Temporary Measures Taken against Professors at OtherFaculties:

Atthe Faculty of Transportation (transferred to a"Research Center"):

Prof. Vera Mijuskovic

Atthe Faculty of Biology (taken off the teaching list):

Prof. Nikola Tucic

Prof. Gordana Cvijic

Asst.. Prof. Danka Savic

Atthe Faculty of Mathematics (taken of the teaching list):

Assoc. Prof. Desanka Radunovic

Assoc. Prof. Zoran Lucic

Atthe Faculty of Economics (first taken off the payroll, than put back with areduction in salary of about 40 percent):

Assoc. Prof. Refik Secibovic

Assoc. Prof. Goran Milicevic

Atthe Faculty of Defense and Protection (taken of the teaching list):

Assoc. Prof. Tomislav Smrecnik

Atthe Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine:

Prof. Gordana Djuric

Faculty Who Left the University in Protest:

Atthe Faculty of Philology:


Prof. Zoran Ziletic

Prof. Miodrag Sibinovic

Prof. Darinka Gortan-Premk

Lector Ajsa Djulizarevic-Simic

b)left thefaculty:

Asst. Prof. Zeljko Djuric

Lector Aleksandra Mancic-Milic

Lector Marina Ljujic

Lector Tijana Stojkovic

Asst. Vladimir Ignjatovic

At the Faculty of Political Science:

Prof. Mijat Damjanovic (quit in protest)

Prof. Dobrosav Mitrovic (prematurely retired)

At the Faculty of Biology:

Prof. Ana Savic (quit in protest)

Prof. Miloje Krunic (prematurely retired)

Asst. Jelena Brkljacic

Atthe Sports Academy:

Assoc. Prof. Slobodan Jaric

Atthe Faculty of Agriculture:

Prof. Malisa Tosic (quit in protest)

Atthe Faculty of Forrestry:

Asst. Sladjana Markovic (quit in protest)

Atthe Faculty of Philosophy:

Asst. Ivana Radovanovic (quit in protest)

Atthe Faculty of Mining and Geology:

Prof. Radmila Nastic


Mission Statement of the Alternative Academic EducationalNetwork (AAEN)[46][46]

TheAlternative Academic Educational Network is a non-governmental, non-profit,educational and research association committed to quality protection andimprovement of academic education in Yugoslavia. AAEN answers the challenge inan academic education by effectively gathering non-governmental academic organizations,projects and persons involved in education of undergraduate and graduatestudents in Serbia and Montenegro. The Association organizes integrated andinterdisciplinary programmes in academic disciplines that are neglected or donot exist at the Universities in Yugoslavia. The programmes reflect theevolving character of the generation and uses of knowledge within researchcommunities and within society.


TheAAEN was established as an answer of the part of academic community to therestrictive new University Bill, introduced in May 1998. According to this newlaw, the 160-year-old tradition of University autonomy was abolished. Possibledegradation of University education made professors and people fromnon-governmental organizations found this Association.

Objectives and Tasks

-Analysis ofthe existing academic programmes and creation of the alternative programmes inaccordance with the highest academic standards.

-Offeringsupport to programmes and faculty members who are affected by this law.

-Makingcontacts with other academic networks, universities and colleges in the world.

-Creatingalternative academic multidisciplinary programmes and offering them to smallercommunities throughout Yugoslavia.

-Intensivework with the gifted students who will become future experts in theirrespective fields in Yugoslavia.

-Moreefficient use of the existing alternative programmes.

-Creation ofdata library of the alternative academic programmes and of the achieved resultsin academic education.

-Organizationof experimental education.

-Publishing ofscientific papers.


AAENwill autonomously or in cooperation with similar institutions organize andsupport the following activities:

-Modular andexperimental education during school year


-Tutorialeducation - supervised study

-Creation ofinvisible colleges


-Lectures andseminars by visiting professors

-Practicaltraining at scientific and commercial institutions

-Scholarshipsfor foreign universities

-Sabbaticalsfor AAEN professors

-Organizationof professional meetings committed to academic education and its problems andchallenges


Prof.Zagorka Golubovic, Ph.D.

Prof.Milan Podunavac, Ph.D.

Prof.Marija Bogdanovic, Ph.D

Prof.Vukasin Pavlovic, Ph.D

Prof.Cedomir Cupic, Ph.D.

Prof.Mladen Lazic, Ph.D.

Prof.Srbijanka Turajlic, Ph.D.

AleksandraJovanovic, Ph.D.

Prof.Sreten Vujovic, Ph.D.

Prof.Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic, Ph.D.

MihailArandarenko, Ph.D.

Prof.Nikola Tucic, Ph.D.

Prof.Milan Kurepa, Ph.D.

DasaDuhacek, M.Sc.

RefikSecibovic, Ph.D

Masarikova5/ XII, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia

tel:(+381 11) 688-388, fax: (+381 11) 361-3112, e-mail:


International Appeal-Alternative Academic EducationalNetwork (AAEN)[47][47]
December 14, 1998


TheRepublic of Serbia passed a new repressive law on University in May, 1998. Thislaw abolished the autonomy of the University, which has a 160-year tradition.In implementation of the law, the Serbian government made it impossible foruniversity professors to influence the managing and election of academic staff.Since the passing of the new university law, a fierce repression of theuniversity professors who do not want to give up their right to free academicthought has been going on. These professors refused to sign illegal andsuperfluous employment contracts, which were supposed to be an expression ofacceptance of this unconstitutional and repressive law, as well as support forthe politics of the Serbian regime. Up until now around fifty professors havebeen fired from the University, and its been estimated that the number of firedprofessors will increase to a hundred by the year's end.

Facingthe further degradation of the higher education, university professors inSerbia and activists of NGO academic projects decided to establish AlternativeAcademic Educational Network (AAEN). AAEN is a non-government, non-profit,educational and research association committed to the organization ofalternative, parallel multidisciplinary programs, primarily in the disciplineswhich have been neglected or removed from the university curricula forpolitical reasons. In the education of students, as well as in scientific workand research, professors and associates of the AAEN are fighting to preservecritical thinking and the independence of free academic thought. That is why weaddress you with a plea to support the work of AAEN and the professors who losttheir positions, and who are repressed by the regime on daily basis. You cansupport our association in several ways by:

1.Writingreferences and appealing to different foundations and grant agencies to supportour program.

2.Sending copiesof your books and textbooks, which are unavailable to our professors due to theirdifficult financial situation.

3.Making adonation for subscription to scientific journals.

4.Taking part asa visiting professor in our programs.

5.Invitingprofessors from Yugoslavia for sabbaticals at your universities.

6.Notifying yourprofessional organizations about difficult position of the

BelgradeUniversity professors due to enforcement of the new law on universities.

Webelieve that we can develop a close cooperation that will result in mutualsatisfaction. For all questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Oure-mail address is, attn: Prof. Marija Bogdanovic, Ph.D.


Thisreport is based on a fact-finding mission in Serbia conducted by JosephSaunders, Associate Counsel responsible for academic freedom research andadvocacy at Human Rights Watch, from November 8 to November 14, 1998. Thereport was written by Mr. Saunders and edited by Fred Abrahams, Researcher inthe Europe and Central Asia Division, and Holly Cartner, Executive Director ofthe Europe and Central Asia Division. Invaluable production assistance wasprovided by Alexandra Perina and Matt McGowan, Associates at Human RightsWatch.

HumanRights Watch would like to thank all of the individuals who assisted in thepreparation of this report, especially those who provided the testimony onwhich the report is based. Special thanks go to Goran Milicevic of theCoordinating Committee for the Defense of Universities in Serbia, Nataša Kandi_from the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, Sonja Biserko from the HelsinkiCommittee for Human Rights in Serbia, Obrad Savic of the Belgrade Circle, andVojin Dimitrijevic of the Belgrade Center for Human Rights.

HumanRights Watch

Europeand Central Asia Division

HumanRights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around theworld.

Westand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to preventdiscrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumaneconduct in wartime.

Weinvestigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

Wechallenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices andrespect international human rights law.

Weenlist the public and the international community to support the cause of humanrights for all.

Thestaff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, developmentdirector; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communicationsdirector; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance andadministration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brusselsoffice director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associatedirector; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and JoannaWeschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of theboard. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

ItsEurope and Central Asia division was established in 1978 to monitor and promotedomestic and international compliance with the human rights provisions of the1975 Helsinki Accords. It is affiliated with the International HelsinkiFederation for Human Rights, which is based in Vienna, Austria. Holly Cartneris the executive director; Rachel Denber is the deputy director; ElizabethAndersen is the advocacy director; Fred Abrahams, Cassandra Cavanaugh, JuliaHall, Malcolm Hawkes, Bogdan Ivanisevic, André Lommen, and Diane Paul areresearch associates; Diederik Lohman is the Moscow office director, AlexanderPetrov is the assistant Moscow office director; Pamela Gomez is the Caucasusoffice director; Marie Struthers is the Dushanbe office director; AcaciaShields is coordinator for Central Asia/Caucasus; and Liudmila Belova, AlexFrangos, Alexandra Perina, and Josh Sherwin are associates. Peter Osnos is thechair of the advisory committee and Alice Henkin is vice chair.

WebSite Address:

Listservaddress: To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message with "subscribe hrw-news" in the body of the message(leave the subject line blank).

[1][1]See HumanRights Watch/Helsinki, Open Wounds: Human Rights Abuses in Kosovo (New York:Human Rights Watch, 1993), pp. 112-125; Human Rights Watch/Helsinki,"Persecution Persists: Human Rights Violations in Kosovo," A Human Rights WatchShort Report, vol. 8, no. 18(D), December 1996.

[2][2]For anoverview of the crackdown on the media in 1998, see Free 2000 (TheInternational Committee to Protect the Independent Media in Yugoslavia),"Restrictions on the Broadcast Media in FR Yugoslavia," September 1998. The report,together with other material on media restrictions in Yugoslavia, can be foundat: See also Human Rights Watch/Helsinki,"Discouraging Democracy: Elections and Human Rights in Serbia," A Human RightsWatch Short Report, vol. 9, no. 11(D), September 1997.

[3][3]Free 2000,"Restrictions on the Broadcast Media," p. 21.

[4][4]Human RightsWatch/Helsinki, "Discouraging Democracy: Elections and Human Rights in Serbia,"A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 9, no. 11(D), September 1997.

[5][5]Human RightsWatch interview, Belgrade, November 11, 1998.

[6][6]Human RightsWatch interview, Belgrade, November 12, 1998.

[7][7]Human RightsWatch interview with Zoran Milutinovic, Belgrade, November 11, 1998.


[9][9]Human RightsWatch interview with Nikola Tucic, Belgrade, November 12, 1998.


[11][11]This list isbased on information in Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia,"Implications of the New University Act," July 1998 (copy on file at HumanRights Watch), p. 2, supplemented by telephone interviews with University ofBelgrade faculty members.


[13][13]A detailedanalysis of student appointees to university and faculty boards is set forthat:

[14][14]Quoted inVesna Rakic-Vodinelic, "Legal Consequences of the Application of the Law onUniversities on its Legal Position and that of its Teachers and Associates,"June 1998 (copy on file at Human Rights Watch).

[15][15]Human RightsWatch interview with Dragoljub Popovic, Belgrade, November 9, 1998.

[16][16]Human RightsWatch interview with Goran Milicevic, Belgrade, November 13, 1998.

[17][17]BelgradeCenter for Human Rights, "Bulletin No. 17 (universities): New Dismissals ofProfessors and Threats to Students," November 25, 1998 (copy on file at HumanRights Watch), p. 4.

[18][18]Transcriptof interview with Dr. Radmilo Marojevic, B92 radio broadcast hosted byAleksandar Timofejev, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., July 2, 1998 (copy on file at HumanRights Watch).



[21][21]CCDUS,"Chronology of Events, July 1998 - August 1998, (Implementation of the NewLaw)," entry dated July 1, on file at Human Right Watch).

[22][22]Transcriptof interview with Dr. Radmilo Marojevic, B92 radio broadcast July 2, 1998 (copyon file at Human Rights Watch)

[23][23]Human RightsWatch interview with Zoran Milutinovic, Belgrade, November 11, 1998.

[24][24]Human RightsWatch interview with Ranko Bugarski, Belgrade, November 11, 1998.

[25][25]Although itdoes not come through well in the translation, Bugarski is referring ironicallyto the "autonomy" of the universities from faculty members under the new law.

[26][26]Interviewwith Ranko Bugarski, Danas, July 18-19, 1998, p. 11.

[27][27]Human RightsWatch interview with Branko Popovic, Belgrade, November 13, 1998.

[28][28]Human RightsWatch interview, Belgrade, November 13, 1998.

[29][29]Human RightsWatch interview with Veljko Janjic, Belgrade, December 7, 1998.

[30][30]Human RightsWatch interview with Drazen Pantic, New York, December 14, 1998.

[31][31]Human RightsWatch interview with Dragoljub Popovic, Belgrade, November 9, 1998.


[33][33]CoordinatingCommittee for the Defense of Universities in Serbia, "Chronology of Events, 1November 1998 - 27 November 1998 (Resistance)," entry dated November 9, 1998, (copy on file at HumanRights Watch).

[34][34]BelgradeCenter for Human Rights, "Information Bulletin No. 11," September 1998 (copy onfile at Human Rights Watch);

[35][35]Jane Perlez,"Yugoslav Wields Ax in ‘Pacification' of Academia," New York Times, Sunday,November 1, 1998.


[37][37]Human RightsWatch interview with Vesna Rakic-Vodinelic, Belgrade, November 13, 1998.

[38][38]"Studentson Protest March to Novi Sad," Beta Online, December 18, 1998.

[39][39]Human RightsWatch/Helsinki, "Discouraging Democracy: Elections and Human Rights in Serbia,"A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 9, no. 11(D), September 1997, pp. 6-15.

[40][40]Pressstatement of Sinisa Nikolic, Belgrade, December 15, 1998.

[41][41]Quoted in V.Popovic, "Otpor Activist Beaten," Danas, December 31, 1998 - January 3, 1999.

[42][42]Thisappendix is based on information supplied by Goran Milicevic of theCoordinating Committee for the Defense of Universities in Serbia. Theinformation is current as of December 20, 1998.

[43][43]As used inthis Appendix, the title "Asst." or "Assistant" refers to teaching staff, oftengraduate students, who typically teach eight hours per week but do not examinestudents. They are hired for four-year terms.

[44][44]Prof. RankoBugarski is not included on this list. His case is described at pp. 15-16above.

[45][45]"Lector"refers to teaching staff hired to assist in foreign language instruction.

[46][46]Englishtranslation as received from AAEN.

[47][47]Englishtranslation as received from AAEN.

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