Belgrade, 27th Jan 2021 - The Autonomous Women's Center appeals to the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade to grant all witnesses and victims who have survived sexual violence by the suspect Miroslav Aleksić, ex officio, the status of particularly sensitive witnesses in accordance with Art. 103 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
We also appeal that the injured parties who do not have the opportunity to hire a lawyer in this procedure, be appointed an ex-officio attorney in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 103 of the same Code.
We remind you that the status of a particularly sensitive witness can be granted to a witness who, given her age, life experience, lifestyle, gender, health condition, nature, manner or consequences of the crime, or other circumstances of the case, is particularly sensitive. Granting this status to the state, i.e., the body conducting the procedure, does not cost anything, and it means a lot to the victims, because it allows them to be examined with the help of a psychologist, social worker or other professional, or using technical means for image and sound transmission, in a separate room.
Having in mind the allegations in the media from which it cannot be established with certainty whether the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade considered granting the survivors the status of particularly sensitive witnesses, the Autonomous Women's Center reminds that all victims, regardless of whether they are celebrities or not, have the right to a minimum of protection against secondary victimization and re-traumatization. There is no scarier moment for the victims, and especially those who have survived sexual violence, than the moment when they have to tell every detail of what they survived in front of the person who abused them and at the same time endure ridicule and belittling by the suspect.