No. 07-00-129/2017-02 Date: 7 July 2017
The present opinion was issued following a complaint procedure lodged by N.G. against “Garbage Collection and Public Spaces Maintenance” Public Utility Company from Novi Pazar. In her complaint the complainant claims that “Garbage Collection and Public Spaces Maintenance” Public Utility Company had not allowed the installation of a pyramid shaped tombstone for her deceased father while her mother was alive, at a cemetery near . . . . church in Novi Pazar, as five types/shapes of tombstones were envisaged and permitted for installation at this cemetery, in accordance with the contract signed between City of Novi Pazar and the Serbian Orthodox Church, and they were all in a shape of a cross. The complainant stated that a cross shaped tombstone was unacceptable to her family, as her late father was a member of the Communist Party, a high ranking Party official and an atheist, these being the reasons they wished to install a “pyramid” shaped tombstone instead of a “cross” shaped one. In its declaration “Garbage Collection and Public Spaces Maintenance” Public Utility Company from Novi Pazar, stated that, in keeping with decision No. 226 dated 13 July 2013, Serbian Orthodox Church Raška Region Administrative Division in Novi Pazar has leased free-of-charge to the City of Novi Pazar a land lot registered with the real estate register under No. . . . . KO N.P. to open . . . a cemetery, but under certain conditions. In the course of the complaint procedure it has been established that by imposing on the complainant a choice of five cross shaped tombstones to choose from, “Garbage Collection and Public Spaces Maintenance” Public Utility Company from Novi Pazar has committed an act of discrimination on the grounds of personal characteristic of the complainant’s family member – religious belief. For this reason, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued a recommendation to Novi Pazar “Garbage Collection and Public Spaces Maintenance” to send a written apology to the complainant on account of discriminatory treatment, to take all necessary measures aimed at eliminating discriminatory treatment i.e. to allow her to install a tombstone in keeping with the religious beliefs of her late father and to take precautions in the future and refrain from violating anti-discrimination regulations when performing its regular work and activities.
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality