Antonijević: Nije bitno kako se vidi lupanje u šerpe, bitnije je kako se čuje 1Foto:Fonet/Zoran MrđaVerujem u prolećno buđenje svega, pa i zdravog političkog života: Milan Antonijević Foto: FoNet/Zoran Mrđa

 Nisu ni suze „jeftin politički poen“, previše je to sve za zemlju koja se igrala i sa životima, a kamoli sa usmerenim kampanjama i napadima na pojedince i njihove porodice, decu – ističe za Danas Milan Antonijević, izvršni direktor Fondacije za otvoreno društvo na pitanje da prokomentariše paljenje baklji od strane pristalica Srpske napredne stranke i puštanje „Đilase, lopove“ ispred zgrade u kojoj živi Dragan Đilas i njegovo potresno svedočenje koje je režim video kao „jeftine političke poene“.

Kako ukazuje Antonijević, zabrinjava cela ta akcija, taj beli mercedes kojim su vlasnici razglasa sa koga je puštano skandiranje, pobegli i sakrili se u zgradu Opštine Vračar.

– Ne možete postaviti pitanje ko je prvi počeo, naročito ne kada ste na vlasti. Drugo je pitanje odgovornosti, vidimo da su prekršajne prijave podnete u nekim izolovanim slučajevima, prema rečima direktora policije, ali njih nema u prekršajnom sudu, kako pišu istraživački novinari. Ostaje nam da verujemo da je vanredno stanje završeno i u sudovima i tužilaštvima i da će početi da rade svoj posao – objašnjava Antonijević.

* Parlamentarni izbori su raspisani za 21. jun. Pandemija korona virusa nije ni blizu kraja, mislite li da je odgovoran potez vlasti da se za mesec i po izađe na izbore?

– Brzo će doći 21. jun. Ali, dok vam odgovaram na pitanja teško mi je da se ne prisetim da je prošlo tek nešto više od 24 sata od policijskog časa, vanrednog stanja, skajp suđenja, upoznavanja sa strukom, svakodnevnih konferencija za štampu, susretom sa vojskom na granicama i oko migrantskih kampova. Spoznali smo i kako svako od nas funkcioniše pod vanrednim okolnostima, a od 1999. i 2003. godine nismo imali ovako velike negativne rezove koji utiču na naše živote, na sve stanovnike, bez izuzetka. Previše je sve bilo intenzivno u proteklim danima da bismo sada mogli, bez mnogo emocija, sagledati kako bi izgledali izbori koji se najavljuju za taj 21. jun. Mladima će ti dani biti u znaku prijemnih ispita za fakultete, više škole, tako da sumnjam da će razmišljati da prvi put u životu glasaju.

* Kako ocenjujete tu brzinu ulaska u predizbornu trku?

– Nekako smo neprimetno, iz režima koji nam je pedeset dana diktirao kovid 19 došli do političkih diktata i predizborne kampanje. U novom Vremenu je objavljen tekst koji sam pisao i u kojem sam detaljnije objasnio šta su opasnosti, koji standardi moraju važiti za demokratske izbore nakon pandemije i kako bi na te izbore gledala Venecijanska komisija. Savetovao sam stavljanje pravničkih naočara, umesto političkih, kako bi se analizirali prvi potezi nakon ukidanja vanrednog stanja, prvi potezi nakon Đurđevdanske odluke Narodne skupštine. Moram da vam se požalim, pomalo van konteksta, da je Filip Švarm odustao od naslova koji sam poslao uz moj autorski tekst, tako da smo umesto Đurđevdanske diktature dobili Diktaturu ljudskih prava. Priznaćete da je Đurđevdanska diktatura efektniji naslov, nekako dalekosežniji. No, vratimo se na izbore i vaše pitanje, mnogo će dilema biti, koji god dan da se odabere, od bezbednosti prilikom prikupljanja potpisa neposredno nakon ovako čvrstih mera, do mogućnosti slobode okupljanja i drugih prava neophodnih za demokratski i fer izborni proces. Kada tome dodamo i medijsku situaciju, nejednaku zastupljenost aktera na političkoj sceni, 21. jun deluje previše blizu. Kada god da se održe, ovi parlamentarni i lokalni izbori biće prijemni ispit za demokratiju nakon vanrednog stanja, naravno, sve pod uslovom da ponovo ne uronimo u loše dnevne brojeve i povratak pandemije. Moja bivša koleginica, advokatica Milena Vasić, napisala je na Tviteru da će „sloboda, u kombinaciji sa individualnom odgovornošću, pasti ljudima teže nego robija“. Videćemo da li će biti te lične odgovornosti i da li ćemo uspeti da zaustavimo epidemiju, bar unutar naših granica. Da ne elaboriram i pojam granice, otišao bih na neku drugu temu.

* U tom smislu, očekujete li da opozicija koja je ranije najavila bojkot promeni odluku i izađe na izbore?

– Odluke se menjaju svakog dana, to smo radili i mi tokom vanrednog stanja, ne vidim zašto i političke stranke i pokreti, svi politički akteri ne bi preispitivali svoje odluke. Fondacija za otvoreno društvo je naglavačke postavila sve što je planirano za ovu godinu, čim je počela pandemija. Morate se prilagoditi trenutku, pomoći gde možete, ne možete se praviti da se okruženje ne menja, i to drastično. Videli smo neke odluke, još neke najave izlaska na izbore koje su nas ove nedelje iznenadile. Uvek podržavam kritičko mišljenje, ono je osnov otvorenog društva, na koju god stranu da padne odluka. Politika je omogućavanje nemogućeg, tako smo i ušli u posredovanje u dijalogu političkih stranaka krajem jula prošle godine na Fakultetu političkih nauka, pre devet meseci. Nemoguće je bilo zamisliti da se izborno zakonodavstvo menja neposredno pred izbore, a sada vidimo da može i tokom predizbornog procesa.

* Kada već to pominjete, vi ste bili medijator između vlasti i opozicije. Ima li načina da se približe njihovi stavovi?

– Stavovi su i dalje previše udaljeni, jaz na koji smo ukazivali očuvan je, ali neki potezi koji su povučeni daju osnove za promenu medijske scene, verujem u prolećno buđenje svega, pa i zdravog političkog života. Tu nam dolazi i izveštaj uticajnog Fridom hausa, a sledi i izveštaj Evropske komisije početkom juna o stanju naše nacije, države, institucija. Verujem čak i u buđenje REM-a, a očigledno se mnogo toga dešava na učestalim sednicama Saveta ovog tela o čemu javnost nije mnogo upoznata. Zanimljiva su, kako čujem, glasanja u REM-u, rasprave, teme i inicijative.

* Šta mislite o lupanju u šerpe u 20.05h? Ima li taj bunt građana neku perspektivu?

– Nije bitno kako se vidi lupanje u šerpe, bitnije je kako se čuje lupanje u šerpe. Mnogo je značajnije kako naše institucije, kako vlast vidi tu široku i spontanu akciju u celoj Srbiji, to nagomilano nezadovoljstvo, koje nećete videti ako stavite ružičaste naočare. Mnogo pominjem naočare ovih dana u tekstovima, bojim se da podsvesno priznajem da i meni trebaju jedne, ali prave, sa dioptrijom.

* Tokom vanrednog stanja, bili smo svedoci velikog broja kršenja ljudskih prava u Srbiji. Romi su maltretirani, migranti pozatvarani u prihvatilišta, nasilje nad ženama je poraslo… Koliko je važno da država ne ugnjetava svoje građane čak i kada je u pitanju pandemija nekog virusa i kako građani da se zaštite od takvih poteza države?

– Sva ova pravna pitanja moramo ostaviti po strani, mnogo je dobrih inicijativa podneto našem Ustavnom sudu, Evropski sud za ljudska prava se oglašavao po pitanju Roma. Da budemo iskreni, samo uvođenje vanrednog stanja nije bilo protivustavno, ali su se u narednim danima, odmah nakon 15. marta, morali stvoriti uslovi da Narodna skupština zaseda, da je ne čekamo četrdeset i nešto dana da potvrdi sve što je urađeno. Vratimo se na marginalizovane grupe, bitno je kako se tokom pandemije taj jaz premostio. Moramo priznati da je veća nepripremljenost za pandemiju bila u neformalnim naseljima u kojima mahom žive Romi, kao i svih drugih koji su ostali bez ikakvih prihoda i tu je država morala imati jaču ulogu. Svi smo pomogli gde smo mogli, pomoć je upućivana tamo gde je bilo najpotrebnije. Fondacija za otvoreno društvo je to radila od prvog dana, osim poveće podrške RFZO-u za kupovinu respiratora, testova za COVID i zaštitne opreme, podržali smo i inicijative koje direktno pomažu najugroženijima tokom pandemije. Drugo je pitanje migranata, a o neobuzdavanju ničim izazvane kampanje protiv njih govori i događaj u migrantskom kampu kada, nakon suludog upada kolima i histeričnog urlanja, samim čudom niko nije povređen, ni migranti ni vojnici koji ih „čuvaju“. Sačuvalo ih je čudo, a ne vojska, ali se nadam da ćemo i tu videti sud, tužilaštvo, ko stoji iza ovog nasilja, ko ga je, osim medija, podstrekavao.

Razorne posledice lažnih vesti

* Dan slobode medija „proslavili“ smo 3. maja. Svedoci smo napada na novinare, pritvaranja novinarke Ane Lalić, paljenja kuće novinara, konstantnih pretnji, tabloidizacije… Srbija iz godine u godinu pada na listi država po pitanju slobode medija… Koliko je važno da mediji budu slobodni i kako to postići u Srbiji? Kako i opozicija da dobije prostor na RTS-u, ali i drugim medijima koje drži vlast?

– Nadam se da je to retoričko pitanje, svi znamo značaj slobodnih medija, a vidimo i razorne posledice kontrolisanih medija i lažnih vesti. Možete uništiti živote pisanom rečju, naslovnom stranom, besomučnom kampanjom na nacionalnim frekvencijama. Setite se samo šta je bilo 16. januara 2018. godine, kako se jedna višenedeljna kampanja završila.

„Region Zapadnog Balkana nam može dati stabilnost“

* U Srbiji, maltene u celom regionu, na snazi je relativizacija zločina i zločinaca. Vidimo samo šta Šešelj radi i koliko ga vlast pušta da seje govor mržnje. Čak ni njegove saborce Vjericu Radetu i Petra Jojića vlast ne želi da izruči u Hag. Kako vidite region u narednim godinama?

– Bez obzira na vaše pitanje koje više ide ka prošlosti, znate da zločine ne smemo zaboraviti, a ni zločince, odgovorio bih ipak zagledan u budućnost, jer „tamo ćemo se sastati vi i ja“, poručio nam je Đinđić poodavno. Pogledajte kakav zreo odnos vidimo danas u Hrvatskoj prema Jasenovcu. Taj čin hrvatskog predsednika mora biti uzor, a imali smo i primere iz naše zemlje, takođe odgovornog ponašanja, ne zaboravite ni to. U svakom slučaju, region se može iz učmalosti izvući jedino zajedno, to se pokazalo i tokom pandemije, slali smo podršku i dobijali je iz regiona, ukinute su i besmislene takse na robu koja na Kosovo dolazi iz Srbije i iz BiH, dobijali smo podršku od svih iz regiona tokom poplava 2014. a slali smo i podršku partnerima iz Albanije, nakon razornog zemljotresa koji ih je zadesio. Svaki potez mora ići ka regionalnoj saradnji, jer paralelno sa izgradnjom odnosa, najpre sa partnerima u EU, ali i sa svim drugima u složenim međunarodnim odnosima i geopolitičkim pitanjima, region Zapadnog Balkana je taj koji nam može dati određenu stabilnost, tržišta su okrenuta jedna ka drugima. Da završim u pozitivnom tonu, treba nam ogromna doza optimizma, optimizam ima jače dejstvo i od vakcine protiv kovid 19 koju čekamo.

Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation speaks for Danas

Antonijevic: It is not important how banging pots and pans is seen, but how it is heard

Nothing is cheap in our Serbia, neither are those torches, nor the consequences of the scenes from the rooftops of the skyscrapers in several cities, needless demonstration of power, rash actions that lack spontaneity and critical mass, and reflect the impatience rather than the political wisdom that is crucial during the time of political crisis.

Not even the tears are a “cheap political point”, it is all too much for the country that has gambled with lives, let alone with directed campaigns and attacks at the individuals and their families, their children – Milan Antonijevic, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation says when asked to comment about lighting of the torches by the supporters of the Serbian Progressive Party and broadcasting of the message “Djilas, you are a thief” in front of the building where Dragan Djilas lives and his dramatic testimony seen by the regime as “cheap political points”. 

Antonijevic says that this entire action is worrisome, including that white Mercedes used by the owners of the loudspeaker system to broadcast the chanting and to run away and hide in the building of the Municipality of Vracar. 

– You cannot raise the question as to who has started first, especially if you hold the power. The second issue is the matter of responsibility, and we see that misdemeanor charges have been filed in some isolated cases, according to the director of the police, but they are not in misdemeanor courts, as reported by investigative journalists. We are left to believe that the state of emergency has ended for the courts and prosecutor’s offices as well, and that they will start doing their job – Antonijevic explains. 

* Parliamentary elections have been scheduled for June 21. The pandemic of the coronavirus is nowhere close to its end, do you think the authorities have acted responsibly by scheduling the elections in a month and a half?

– June 21 will come quickly. However, while answering your questions, it is hard not to think that it has been only a bit longer than 24 hours as of the curfew, state of emergency, Skype trials, getting to know the professionals, meeting the military personnel at the borders and in the areas of migrant camps. We have also found out how each one of us functions in the extraordinary circumstances, and since 1999 and 2003 we have not has such extensive negative cuts that affect the lives of all the citizens, without exception. It has been so intense in the days behind us to be able to comprehend, without many emotions, how the elections announced for that June 21 would look like. For the young people, those days will be marked by entrance exams for the universities, higher schools, so I doubt they will think of voting for the first time in their lives. 

Antonijević: Nije bitno kako se vidi lupanje u šerpe, bitnije je kako se čuje 2

* How do you comment such speed in engaging in the pre-election race?

– We have almost invisibly transferred from a fifty-day regime dictated by Coivid 19 to political dictates and pre-election campaign. In the new issue of Vreme, there is a text where I provided more details about the risks, and the standards that must be applied to democratic elections after the pandemic and how the Venice Commission would evaluate those elections. I have advised using of legal eyeglasses instead of political ones, in order to analyze the first steps after termination of the state of emergency, the first actions of the National Assembly made on May 6 (Day of St. George). I must complain to you, a bit out of context, that Filip Svarm chose to change the title I sent with the text I wrote, so  instead of the Dictatorship on St. George’s, we ended up with the title Dictatorship of human rights. You must admit that the title the Dictatorship on St. George’s is much more impactful, more far-reaching. However, let’s go back to the elections and your questions. There will be many dilemmas whichever date is chosen, starting from safety when collecting signatures directly after such strict measures, to the possibility to exercise the right to freedom of gathering and other rights required for democratic and fair election process. When we add the media situation to that, unequal representation of the participants on the political scene, June 21 seems to be too close. Whenever these parliamentary and local elections are held, they will serve as an entrance exam for democracy after the state of emergency, of course, all under the condition that we do not go back to unwanted daily counts and return of the pandemic. My former colleague attorney Milena Vasic wrote on Twitter that “the freedom, in combination with individual responsibility will be header on people that prison“.  We will see whether there will be such personal responsibility and whether we will be able to stop the epidemic, at least within our borders. I do not want to elaborate on the definition of a border in order to avoid transition to another topic. 

* In that sense, do you expect the opposition that previously announced boycott to change its decision and take part in the elections?

– The decisions are changed every day, we did that during the state of emergency, so I do not see why political parties and movements and all political actors would not reevaluate their decisions. The Open Society Foundation has turned upside down everything planned for this year once the pandemic started. We must adjust to the moment, help where possible, and we cannot pretend that the environment is not changing, and changing drastically. We have seen some decisions, and additional announcements of participation in the elections that have surprised us this week. I always support critical thinking, since it is the foundation of an open society, regardless what type of decision is made. The politics is making impossible possible, so we started mediating in the dialogue of the political parties at the end of July of the last year at the Faculty of Political Sciences, nine months ago. It was impossible to imagine for the election legislation to be changed directly before the elections, and now we see that that is possible during the pre-election process. 

* Now that you mention that, you served as the mediator between the government and the opposition. Is there a way to bring their opinions closer?

– Their opinions are still too far away, the gap we have warned about has been maintained, but some moves that have been made show that there are grounds for the change of the media scene, and I believe in spring awakening of everything, including heathy political life. That includes the report of influential Freedom House, followed by the report of the European Commission at the beginning June on the status of our nation, state, institutions, etc. I even believe in awakening of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM), obviously there are many developments on the frequent sessions of the Council of this authority, and the public is not informed much about that. As I hear, there are interesting voting procedures, discussions, topics and the initiatives by REM. 

* What do you think of banging in pots and pans at 8.15 p.m.? Does this rebellion of the citizens has a chance?

– It is not important how banging pots and pans is seen, but how it is heard. It is much more important how our institutions, and our government sees this wide and spontaneous actions in the entire Serbia, that accumulated dissatisfaction, which is invisible if you wear purple eyeglasses. I mention glasses quite a lot in my texts these days, so I am afraid that I subconsciously admit that I need a pair of them, but the real ones, with the diopter. 

* During the state of emergency, we witnessed a great number of violations of human rights in Serbia. The members of Roma population were mistreated, migrants were closed in the reception centers, the violence against women escalated… How important is it for the state not to oppress its citizens even during the pandemic of a virus and how can the citizens protect themselves against such actions of the state?

– All these legal questions must be left aside, since many good initiatives have been submitted to our Constitutional Court, and the European Court of Human Rights issued statements regarding the matters of Roma population. To be frank, the introduction of the state of emergency was not unconstitutional, but in the following days, immediately after March 15, the conditions had to be met for the session of the National Assembly, and not to wait for forty something days for the confirmation of everything that had been done. I would like to return to the marginalized groups, it is important how that gap was overcome during the pandemic. We must admit that lack of readiness for the pandemic was more obvious in informal settlements inhabited mostly by Roma population, as well as all those without any income and the state had to have a stronger role in that. We all helped where we could, the aid was directed to the places that needed it the most. The Open Society Foundation has worked from the first day, and along with substantial aid to the National Health Insurance Fund for purchase of respirators, Covid tests and protective equipment, we have supported the initiative that directly assists the most sensitive members of the population during the pandemic. The second issue is related to the migrants, and the lack of action against unsolicited campaign against them is proven by the event in the migrant camp when, after the absurd entry by car and hysterical hollering, it was only a miracle that none of the migrants or the soldiers that “protect” them were harmed. They were saved by a miracle, and not by the army, and now we will see what the courts and prosecutor’s office say who, along with the media, instigated such violence. 

Devastating consequence of fake news 

* We celebrated the day of the freedom of the media on May 3. We are witnesses of the attacks against journalists, detention of journalist Ana Lalic, setting the house of a journalist on fire, constant threats, tabloidization … Each year, Serbia is lower on the list of countries regarding the freedom of the media … How important is it for the media to be free and how can that be achieved in Serbia? How can opposition get the space on the Radio Television of Serbia, as well as in other media run by the authorities?

– I hope that this is a rhetorical question since we all know the significance of the freedom of the media, and we see the devastating consequences of the controlled media and fake news. You can destroy lives by a written word, a front page, continuous campaign on the national frequencies, etc. Just remember what happened on January 16, 2018, when a weeks long campaign ended. 

“The region of the West Balkans can offer us stability “

* Relativization of crimes and criminals is visible in Serbia as is almost in the entire region. We see what Seselj does and how the state authorities let him spread the hate speech. Moreover, the authorities even refuse to extradite his fellow party members Vjerica Radeta and Petar Jojić to The Hague. How do you see the region in the upcoming years?

– Regardless of your question that is directed more towards the past, you know that we must not forget the crimes or the criminals. However, I would respond in a manner which is directed more to the future, because that is “where you and me will meet” as said by Djindjic long time ago. Just note the current mature approach of Croatia towards Jasenovac. That act of the Croatian president must serve as an example. In addition, we have had examples of responsible behavior in our country. Let us not forget that either. However, the region can exit this stalemate only together, which was shown during the pandemic, we sent and received the aid to and from the region. Senseless taxes for the goods that come to Kosovo from Serbia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina were revoked. We received the support from the region during the flood in 2014, and we sent the aid to the partners from Albania after devastating earthquake that hit that country. Each step must be directed at regional cooperation, because along with the development of the relations, primarily with the EU partners, and will all the others in complex international relations and geopolitical issues, the region of the West Balkans is the one that can provide us with certain stability, the markets are directed at each other. Finally, I would like to end with a positive note that we need a great dose of optimism, since optimism has greater effect that the vaccine against Covid 19 we are waiting for.

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