Serbian minister blasts US human rights report

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. [EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC]

Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin on Thursday hit back at a damning human rights report by the US State Department. “The US government can criticise, but it needs to know that its criticism is only as good as its ability to apply what it asks of others to itself,” Vulin said.

Vulin’s comments came in response to the annual US State Department’s 2020 Country Report on Human Rights Practices published Wednesday which said Serbia had imposed serious restrictions on the freedom of expression, threats of violence. The report also highlighted unjustified arrests of journalists, corruption in the government and violence targeting people with disabilities, as well as the LGBTI population.

“The government of a country in which there are massive racial clashes, random daily hate crimes, ought not to so easily accuse Serbia of hate crimes,” Vulin responded, stressing that “Serbia is a free country and is led by a free man.”

“You are more powerful, you can slander us, destroy us, you can bring [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vučić down and bring in some weakling who will impose sanctions on Russia and China, recognise Kosovo, leave Republika Srpska, you can set up a government by force, but you cannot force us to choose it. We are not a [big] power, but we are not hypocritical,” Vulin said. (EURACTIV.rs | betabriefing.com)

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