Militarization in the time of corona - Serbia

Staša Zajović

I Introduction: from permanent militarization to coronization

The state of emergency was introduced on March 15, 2020 and not in accordance with the Constitution, bypassing the Parliament, and was revoked on May 6, 2020. During that period Serbia implemented the most restrictive and repressive measures in the whole region: the human rights defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, but also by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, were violated.
During that time the number of infected persons and those who died of COVID was the highest so far, as well as the biggest number of infected medical staff in the region. Drastic restrictive measures in response to COVID-19 were only partially serving to protect public health, and initially a tool of political repression, intimidation, causing panic, persecution of those who think differently… In short, the “coronization - the social use of coronavirus” is in full swing.

II Visible manifestations of militarism – war, armed forces, military budget, arms production and sales etc. That is a system of force and domination, the involvement of military and police institutions in politics, economy, culture, education, health system, which occurred more intensely since the introduction of the unconstitutional state of emergency (March 15). Legal experts consider that there was no need for the state of emergency since there are laws for emergency situations (the Law on Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Management and the Law on Protection of Population from Infectious Diseases). The autocratic regime of A. Vucic has “introduced measures which were more of a sadistic than epidemiologic nature: some of those measures were not only counter-productive but also risky for health.”

Unfortunately, similar measures weren’t unique to only the state of Serbia, since we “live in a state of siege everywhere”, when all countries govern with improvised decrees and administrative-police force, but also with military force, if needed.”

We will name only some of the most drastic decrees and acts as a part of the strengthening of the repressive legislation in Serbia:

The army at the borders, on the streets, in front of hospitals - On March 17th a decree was passed by which the Army of Serbia was to control the borders, be present in front of hospitals, fully armed, fighting against the virus: “Why do they think that if a soldier stands in front of a hospital or a nursing home the virus won’t come in, and it did?
In short, these measures are being implemented as if the state of war was declared and not a pandemic… COVID hospitals were opened - meant for mass accomodation of those who are being “suspicious” of having coronavirus. The largest one of those hospitals, located at the Belgrade’s Fair, can receive 3,000 patients! There’s a complete chaos running inside those hospitals: “By the beginning of April (2020) most patients at the Fair had conjunctivitis and diarrhea because of unsanitary conditions…”

You can read the whole debate in pdf.

Print   Email