news 07 Dec 12

Serbian Judges Receive Death Threats

The Serbian Constitutional Court has received a letter with death threats addressed to the court's judges and their families.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

An unknown group sent on Thursday a letter to the Serbian Constituational Court threatening to kill its 11 judges.

"Based on the findings and declarations, the world's pan-Serb alliance in defence of the Serbian national interests condemns to death 11 judges of the Constitutional Court of Serbia for banning the organization Obraz," the letter said.

Obraz

The group defines its basic principles as patriotism and faith in the Serbian Orthodox Church. They see themselves as defenders of the purity of the Serbian language and the Cyrillic alphabet, and family values.

The group became notorious in 2001 for their attack on the first ever Belgrade Gay Pride parade which left several marchers and police officers injured.

In April 2011, a Belgrade court jailed Obraz's leader Mladen Obradovic for two years for organising riots during the October 2010 Belgrade Gay Pride parade in which about 140 people were injured.

In June, the Court banned the far-right organisation ‘Obraz’, notorious for inciting violence against gays.

According to the letter, the judges are to quit their posts and move to Kosovo with their families otherwise they would be killed.

It also states that from now on every step of the judges and their familiy members will be followed and that no force could prevent the unknown group from excuting the punishment.

The letter was signed by "Kangaroo court, The Black Hand - Apis". The signature is a reference to Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic aka Apis [the bee], the leader of the pre World War I secret terrorist organisation, The Black Hand, which assasinated the Serbian king Alexander Karadjordjevic and his wife Draga Masin in 1903.  The group  was also implicated in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria in 1914.

Obraz's leader Mladen Obradovic has denied any connection with the letter.
The Constitutional Court has informed the authorities about the content of the letter. 

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