You must have heard that the new government granted Serbian prisoners a general discount on all crimes committed? The draft Law on amnesty was adopted during the first 100 days of the new government. Thus, speedily and almost efficiently. The new government has rectified the errors from the Tadic era, since the legal experts of the previous government believed that the best thing was to keep as many people incarcerated as possible, including a high number of those remanded in custody and awaiting trial. In this manner, the Democrats (as well as SPS as the key coalition partner) attempted to demonstrate to the public how they fought against the so-called organized crime. However, this was a terrible lie, and only one in a row, since the majority of people incarcerated in the comfy Serbian prisons are doing time for minor felonies. To be more precise, over 50% of all inmates in our prison system are serving sentences up to 12 months. Thus, prisons are overcrowded, but the majority of serious criminals are enjoying their freedom. In the previous ten years, Serbia became a record holder in the European continent in the number of people serving prison sentences or awaiting trial in custody. Paradoxically, while prisons were overcrowded during the previous five years, the crime rate remained objectively high (although, according to police sources, in statistical decline). The explanation for this phenomenon can be found in the behavior of police officers and their pals from the prosecution and courts. The boys in blue have developed (a long time ago) an interesting sport. It is called torture and is widely used as an interrogation method. It is frequently used in police stations around Serbia, mostly in cases of small time criminals, in particular those belonging to the Roma minority. It is highly suspicious that many of those people confessed their crimes during the investigation, and is particularly indicative that they confessed to a significant number of similar crimes (on the average, five robberies). Let me clarify: when a member of the Roma minority or the so-called working class is arrested for a robbery (which the suspect has indeed committed), you may find this a good thing, and an indicator that Serbia is taking small, albeit determined steps towards becoming a more secure place to live. But the problem arises when this person, during investigation, voluntarily – with a little help from a thick phonebook (leaves no bruises), confesses to a number of identical or similar crimes. In this manner, police officers are killing several flies with one blow. Namely, the person who confesses to the average of five acts of robbery represents a serious statistical contribution to the fight against crime. So, our perpetrator has not committed all these robberies – but has confessed to committing them. In this way, our system is producing so-called half-innocent, i.e. half-guilty people who spend time in prison. And, at the end of the year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs holds a press conference and boasts how the crime rate has fallen by several percent, how criminals are being arrested and prosecuted. This makes everyone happy – both the police, and the people. If you were to add together the percentages that crime rates have dropped in the previous 15 years, it would turn out that there is no crime in Serbia – that it has been rooted out long ago.
In the times of Boris Tadic, such behavior of police, prosecution and courts had reached its pinnacle. And then, one fine day in May, the Progressives came into power. Namely, they reached a gentlemen’s (electoral) agreement with the prison population: vote for us, and we will not forget you. And indeed, our prisoners voted for the progressive coalition. Over two third of individuals serving prison sentences voted for the Serbian Progressive Party. And this is not all. A large number of Progressive officials have special, family-attorney-friendly relations with the most serious criminals in our prisons. Thus, the Progressives and their partners were forced to pay their debts to a number of prisoners as soon as possible. This is why our young Minister of Justice, who came to this world in the year of our Lord 1983, drafted the law on amnesty in two weeks. This created conditions to reduce the pressure on overcrowded prisons, which is something good and much desired. But at the same time, the law created conditions for a number of rather serious criminals to be released, if not this, then next year for certain – and the number of those ranges between two and three thousand. And that is Serbia for you! The previous government placed both those who deserved and those who did not deserve it to prisons. The new government is releasing those they should, along with those they shouldn’t. And life goes on; the Progressives are allegedly (not) being tapped by Prime Minister Dacic, but some tycoon mafia. And Prime Minister Dacic is probably being tapped by the banking mafia (because they want to know where his suitcase went), while all of us and all of them are being tapped by the Russians. At the same time, all our mafias (tobacco, Zemun, party, construction, road, energy, and, of course, Dorcol) are making money as if we were back in 1993.
Krleza once said that people are more stupid and unfortunate than they are guilty. And for all of us who aren’t necessarily stupid or unfortunate – it looks like everything we tried was in vain.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic