Bishop Grigorije brings back the holy inquisition

Nikola Sekulovic, right, president of the Movement for Trebinje, has received a call for church trial of Diocese of Zahumlje, Herzegovina and Primorje, because of “the slander in electronic and print media against church dignitaries, clergy and people”.

The trial is arranged for April 6th, the day when the Third Reich had bombed Belgrade. “I guess they have put me in the category along with Nazi group members”, said Sekulovic.

The sect called SNSD 
"I reckon myself an honorable believer of Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and not only since 1991. (when the war in Balkans actually started). However, I would go against myself and against the honor of my family, if I would accept this call for church trial“, explains Nikola Sekulovic and adds that „certain individuals, who abuse the name of SPC, are trying to present him as schismatic and blasphemer”. The appeal that is raised against him, he calls „outrageous act that is not memorized in the new history, and behind such act stand bishop Grigorije and the sect called SNSD“. 
 
Bishop Grigorije compromises SPC since he is including inquisition methods in its policy, that have never been the part of SPC. Because of that, he is not my bishop“, stresses Sekulovic. 
 
On the question of whether a court appeal may connect to the case in Trebinje where TV staff of the Federal Television of B&H was attacked while filming the SPC, after which they have found the shelter in the offices of Nikola Sekulovic’s NGO, Sekulovic answers that that incident is just one of the reasons why bishop Grigorije has turned against him. He thinks that the bishop cannot forgive him when he publicly said that it is a lie that FTV staff has harassed believers in church porte and in church in general, as the bishop said, and because of the various other statements where Sekulovic has declared that behind frequents attacks on him, stands the bishop himself.   

„The city of Trebinje, that is collapsing from day to day, where citizen become poorer and poorer, is ruled by SNSD and bishop Grigorije (on left). The crime governs the city and I think those are the reasons why SPC did not use the regular court to raise the appeal against, since they know that these kind of facts would be revealed on regular court“, adds Sekulovic. The situation in Trebinje is unbearable since „Milorad Dodik clearly stated to citizens in Trebinje, that they will be not given any help from the government if they do not vote for SNSD“. 

Church has no comment 
 
SPC was also asked to react, but the deacon of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and Dubrovnik diocese, Zoran Aleksic, refused to comment the whole case explaining that „that does not deserve their attention“. 
 
Democratic party: Dangerous imprudence 
 
“The authorities from the Republic of Srpska are taking serious discipline action toward freedom of media, especially electronic media, for their critical approach toward the government of Republic of Srpska. RS authorities gave the warrant to inspection to do a control of Alternative TV from Banja Luka and Radio Television BN from Bijeljina, with intention to disrupt their right to work and to influence their editorial politics”, it is stated in the official statement of Democratic party issued on Thursday, April 3rd.  
 
Democratic party also strongly condemns the announcement of church trial to Nikola Sekulovic. “Without any intention to interrupt into church affairs, and highly respecting the dignity and  significance of SPC, Democratic party reckons that prosecuting a believer on church trial for allegedly slender represent imprudence that has not been seen in our region for a while now. This is also a serious attack on civic rights and freedoms that secular government guarantees, which is in total opposition to democratic needs of our society, even though for such decision canonical basis does exist.” stresses Democratic party. 
 
Different points of view 
 
Branko Todorovic, Executive Director of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republic of Srpska, has stated for Oslobodjenje newspapers, that „it cannot be said, in this particular case, that human rights of Nikola Sekulovic are violated“.  
 
„All of us, when entering a certain religious community, non-governmental organization or party, accept its constitution which envisions certain forms of behavior, but also our readiness to be judged if we disrespect them“, says Todorovic. He adds that mere call to church trial does not mean that somebody’s right to freedom, opinion or speech is being violated.  
 
On the other side, Muhamed Dzemidzic, Executive Director of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina points out that „placing a man on wall of shame, just because of his personal opinion and calling publicly someone, because of that, a heretic, blasphemer is an absolute violation of human rights“. 

Latest

October 18, 2018

Court rejects Mehman Huseynov’s appeal for conditional release

The Azerbaijani video journalist found no justice in his trial for defamation, and in August his first application for conditional release was rejected. His so far unsuccessful appeals against this rejection include an accuser not summoned to court and warnings against informing people of their rights. Such events are a repeat of the injustices that took place during his arrest and trial.

October 17, 2018

Political leaders in Georgia must stop slandering civil society organisations

Some 49 member and partner NGOs of 13 Human Rights Houses issue a joint letter to political leaders in Georgia.

October 3, 2018

Human Rights in Theatre: “Justice for the Dictator”

Human rights organisations in Voronezh, Russia, staged the play “Justice for the Dictator”, a performance reading of the play “The Trial of Mussolini”. Once again, they showed their creative and innovative approach to reaching out on human rights.