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    • Solidarity is Key for Improving Security of Activists

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    • Date: 01 March 2019

      Connecting activists from all over Serbia, sharing experiences and acquiring practical knowledge about improving security were in the focus of the training organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) with partners, held from 28 February to 1 March 2019 in Belgrade.

      Bojana Jovanovic and Pavle Petrovic from KRIK talked about the basic elements of security culture and protection in potentially high-risk situations with the participants. KRIK journalists presented to participants of the training in which ways activists can be protected in the physical and online space, as well as good practices that they adopted over the years to protect themselves while doing investigative journalism. Jovanovic and Petrovic emphasized the need for consistency in the application of the adopted methods of protection in order for them to be effective.

      The limits of powers of security institutions over citizens and the rights of citizens in different situations were the topic of the presentation of Milos Jankovic, former Deputy Ombudsman. Jankovic emphasized that one of the best barriers to security institutions overstepping their powers and the possibility for arbitrary treatment is citizens’ knowledge on the legal use of these powers and their own rights.

      A significant segment of the training was devoted to the exchange of experiences on the pressures and other risks faced by activists and civil society organizations dealing with the issues of corruption and responsibility of the authorities in Serbia. In addition to the knowledge gained from lecturers and more experienced colleagues, participants from all over the country had the opportunity to connect and learn from each other. Activists and representatives of civil society organizations from Valjevo, Vrbas, Kraljevo, Niš, Leskovac, Loznica, Kragujevac, Novi Sad, Gornji Milanovac, Priboj and Belgrade gathered at the training. One of the main conclusions of group discussions is that solidarity and protecting each other are key to strengthening activism and increasing the security of activists.

      The debate is part of the joint efforts of the Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA), National Coalition for Decentralization (NKD), Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) and Partners for Democratic Change to foster the participation of citizens in decision-making at the local level, through project “Civic Action for Accountability” supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The views expressed in the debate are exclusively the views of panelists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID.
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