The members of the comics group “The Boys” decided to deliver a warning to the state, as well as to the perpetrators of the attack on their exhibition. Two years ago, on October 13, 2020, a group of a dozen masked young men broke into the “Old Captain’s House” at the retrospective exhibition of the comic group “The Boys”, threw tear gas and tore up the exhibited works. The authors were threatened with death before and after the destruction of the exhibition. The authors of the exhibition filed several criminal charges, among other things, against the former Minister of Culture and Information, Vladan Vukosavljevic, who in a shameful statement equated the authors with the perpetrators.
As a result of all reports and complaints, only the policeman on duty was punished with a 20 percent reduction in salary due to inadequate response, while the authorities believe that the authors of the torn works were not harmed. The Ministry is silent, and most of the attackers and threats have not been prosecuted.
The comic group, with the help of the IJAS legal service, took a series of legal actions back in October 2020 and asked the following questions:
- Why did most of the attackers stay out of the law, even though there is a description for some of them?
- What about the most death threats addressed to the authors and organizers of the exhibition over the Internet, since for some of them the competent authorities have been provided with data on profiles and IP addresses? Even after two years, for more than 100 threats, the prosecutor’s office formed only a single-digit number of cases, a total of 9, while some of the victims were heard in only five cases.
- Why do the authorities need more than a year and a half to hear the persons from whose accounts the threats were sent?
- Why was there no procedure for throwing tear gas?
Now we ask new questions:
- Why do the authorities not consider that the authors of the exhibition have been harmed?
- Why do we have to write several emergency letters and complain to the Serbian Ombudsman every two years for any legal action, without which we wouldn’t get excerpts from the court files and there would be no punishment for the policeman on duty?
- Why does the Ministry of Culture and Information, even though the disputed announcement has been removed and another minister is in office, not answer the media’s questions about the case?
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS)