In solidarity with their colleague who was attacked on Saturday, Serbian lawyers decided to go on a one-day strike seeking improved protection by the state.
|Serbian Palace of Justice I Photo by Beta|
The Serbian Bar Association suspended its work, trials included, on Tuesday as a show of solidarity with their colleague who was under attack, but also as a show of dissatisfaction with their position within the society and their treatment by the authorities.
“Last year there were a number of attacks on our colleagues and, so far, none of them have been investigated. The Association requests that the authorities give lawyers the status of public officers, as was the case with judges, prosecutors and police officers,” reads the statement by the Bar Association of Serbia.
On Saturday evening Nenad Vuksanovic, a Belgrade lawyer, was beaten up in his office and had acid thrown into his eyes by two masked men. He was immediately transferred to the hospital, where he still remains.
Vuksanovic is known to the public as a defence lawyer of Zvezdan Jovanovic, a former colonel of the Serbian special police unit and an ex-member of the notorious criminal ring known as the Zemun Clan. It is believed that the gang is behind numerous killings and robberies in both Serbia and abroad. Jovanovic, known as The Snake, is serving 40 years sentence for the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindic.
The Serbian Ministry of Justice said that they support the lawyers’ strike, adding that they will discuss with the Association's representatives to change their status to that of public officers.
The Ministry also called on the Serbian police to urgently find the perpetrators since “lawyers are one of the most important components of the legal system”.