Lončarević: Central Prison security satisfactory

Over 300 inmates of the Belgrade Central Prison are still refusing to eat.

Source: B92, Beta

The Department for the Implementation of Sanctions' Director, Dragoljub Lončarević, said that security within the prison was at a satisfactory level and that prisoners’ protests have not spread to other prisons in the country.

"Three additional prisoners have not yet allowed for their mouths to be unsewn. Yesterday, the number was 13 out of 65 prisoners that had sewn their own mouths on the first day of the protest," Lončarević told B92.

Lončarević said that the Department for Implementation of Sanctions was aware, even before the protest, that the conditions within the prison were not in compliance with European standards. For this reason, persons indicted by the Special Court for Organised Crimes, as well as other prisoners, are now being placed in a new special detention unit.

Lončarević added that those detainees will be transferred to the Special court building detention unit as soon as conditions permit. At that time, other inmates will be placed in renovated cells, with the rest of the Central Prison renovated after that.

Two days ago, 65 Central Prison inmates had their mouths sewn in protest of slow court procedures, and poor living conditions. Prisoners indicted at the Special court are not taking part in the protest. One possible reason for this could be that they are placed in a separate part of the prison whic is in better condition.

However, Lončarević denied that there were special privileges given to said inmates.

Union calls for resignation of top justice officials

Serbia’s judicial workers Union has called for the resignations of Justice Minister Zoran Stojković, Slobodan Janković, the state public prosecutor, and Serbian Supreme Court President Vide Petrović-Škero. The union calls the situation that the Serbian justice system finds itself in as "catastrophic."

The statement expresses the Union’s concern over the protest currently unfolding at the Central Prison facility in Belgrade, and accuses top judicial officials of condoning experimenting with the justice system, that has been taking place for a long time.

"The Judicial workers Union expresses its concern over the fact that the prisoners have chosen to draw the public’s attention to the abysmal situation in Serbian justice system by an extreme measure such as lip-sewing, and is concern with the fact that the judicial employees, are, as usual, remaining silent," the Union states.

"The Serbian justice system, regardless of a budget surplus, suffers financial difficulties and does not have the right conditions to function properly," reads the statement.

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