From 13 to 24 November 2017, the Special Rapporteur visited Serbia and Kosovo to
assess the prevailing situation, developments and challenges concerning torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Special Rapporteur would like to express his sincere appreciation to the
authorities in Belgrade and Pristina for the excellent cooperation he enjoyed throughout the
mission. The Special Rapporteur would also like to thank the office of the Resident
Coordinator in Serbia and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
(UNMIK) for supporting his team before and during the visit. The discussions he held with
officials in Belgrade and Pristina were open and constructive.
In Belgrade, the Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to exchange views with the
Ministers of Justice and of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, with the
Assistant Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Health, with the Director of Police within the
Ministry of Interior, the Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights, the Deputy
Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, the Commissioner for Refugees and
Migrants, the Presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation, as well as
with the Deputy Ombudsman and the head of the National Preventive Mechanism. The
Special Rapporteur also had the opportunity to meet with civil society representatives,
including human rights organizations, lawyers and medical doctors.
In Pristina, the Special Rapporteur had open and constructive discussions with the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and representatives of the justice and
human rights sections of UNMIK. He also had productive exchanges with the Prime
Minister and his Office of Good Governance, with the Kosovo Correction Service and the
Inspectorate of the Ministry of Justice, with the Kosovo Police, the Inspectorate of the
Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Head of the Prison Health Department at the Ministry of
Health, the Head of the Forensic Psychiatric Institute, the Ombudsperson, the Director of
the National Preventive Mechanism Unit, and with representatives of the Council of Europe
and of civil society organizations active in Kosovo.
Throughout the visit to Serbia and Kosovo, the Special Rapporteur and his team
enjoyed unrestricted access to all places where people are deprived of their liberty in full
accordance with the terms of reference of fact-finding visits of the special procedures.
In the course of his visit to Serbia, the Special Rapporteur and his team visited the
holding premises of the border police at Belgrade International Airport Nikola Tesla,
including the transit zone; the police stations in New Belgrade and the urban municipality
of Zemun, and those in the city centres of Belgrade and Niš; the transit centres for migrants
and refugees in Obrenovac, Adaševci and Preševo; the correctional institutions of Sremska
Mitrovica and Niš; Belgrade district prison and the special prison hospital in Belgrade; the
centre for children and youths with development disabilities in Veternik and the social care
home Otthon in Stara Moravica.
Throughout the Special Rapporteur’s visit, he was able to meet with representatives
of the respective institutions, including management, security and medical staff, and to
interview inmates of his choosing in private, including women, men and juveniles, in full
compliance with the terms of reference of his mandate.
International and regional level
Serbia is party to all the international human rights treaties relevant to the
prohibition and prevention of torture and other ill-treatment, including the Convention