On October 3, 2023, Serbian activist Aida Ćorović faced a conviction and a fine for a protest incident that occurred on November 9, 2021. During a peaceful protest against fascism and antisemitism, Aida Ćorović threw eggs at a graffiti image of Ratko Mladić, a convicted war criminal in Belgrade. Rights Defenders strongly condemns this conviction and demands the immediate dropping of all charges against Aida Ćorović and the annulment of the imposed fine.
Aida Ćorović’s symbolic protest, while unconventional, was an expression of her commitment to justice and accountability for war crimes. However, she was found guilty of disturbing public order and peace, as well as insulting police officers. This resulted in a 100,000 dinars (approximately 850 EUR) fine and bearing all legal proceedings costs.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental democratic right, encompassing the ability to voice opinions, even if critical of the government or controversial. Aida Ćorović’s protest should be viewed within the context of her advocacy for a just society.
Rights Defenders stands in unwavering solidarity with Aida Ćorović and calls for the charges against her to be dropped and the fine annulled. It is crucial for Serbian authorities to respect freedom of assembly and ensure that activists can operate without fear of intimidation or harassment.
The case of Aida Ćorović underscores the vital importance of defending freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest in a democratic society. Rights Defenders urges Serbian authorities to reconsider her conviction and uphold the principles of democracy and human rights.