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Statement of MEDEL on Government-oriented NGO’s

MEDEL

The right to association and freedom of speech is one of the basic human rights in a democratic society.

Nevertheless, having in mind situation in Serbia, MEDEL noticed the trend of formation of professional organization of judges and prosecutors, which operation is primarily directed to the confirmation or justification of previously presented opinions and visions of governmental authorities.

Existing of such associations is known in social theory as GONGO (government-oriented nongovernmental organizations or government nongovernmental organizations). These organizations are very often supported by governmental authorities and pro governmental media and focus of their interests are authentic associations of judges and prosecutors, as well as other authentic nongovernmental organizations dealing with judicial issues.

The aim of GONGO operation is discrediting and creating of nonsense and confusion in public regarding the work and attitudes of authentic associations, having in mind that these organizations have similar names or abbreviations as authentic associations of judges and prosecutors.

MEDEL points out the risk that such associations do not contribute to the public discourse in democratic society regarding position of judiciary, status of judges and prosecutors and human rights protection, but creating distorted vision of judiciary and society itself.

MEDEL expresses concerns because of governmental authority and pro governmental media support to these associations and call government to achieve political aims by political means not by creating of parallel professional associations and civil sector.

November 17th, 2018

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