02 October 2014, 021-00-434 /2014-02
Deputy Head of the Municipal Administration of the City Municipality of Voždovac
Dear Mr. Denčić
On 2 October 2014, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality received a complaint from M. F, which was designated as urgent. The complainant stated that he submitted a written request to the Municipal Administration of Voždovac, Department of General Administration, Sector for General Administration, for registration in the special voters list of the national minority, and that he was informed by the notification no. 208-1738/2014/1 of 29 September 2014, that in accordance with the Law on General Administrative Procedure, the Law on National Councils of National Minorities and the Rulebook on the Maintenance of the Special Voters List of a National Minorities, it is necessary for him to personally come to the premises of the City Municipality of Voždovac, prior to the conclusion of the special voter list.
Upon receipt of this letter, the complainant, as stated in the complaint, spoke on the telephone with the Head of the Department of General Administration and explained to him that because of his health condition he was unable to come to the premises of the Municipal administration and personally file the request, and proposed several solutions, but the manager replied that his personal presence was necessary for enrolment in the special voter list.
Bearing in mind that special voter lists for national minorities are closed on October 10, 2014, and that there is a possibility of irreversible consequences for the complainant who wishes to use his active voting right, in accordance with the legal authority of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, I point out the fact that the laws of the Republic of Serbia prohibit every form of direct and indirect discrimination, on any personal characteristics.
The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia prohibits any discrimination, direct or indirect, on any ground, and in particular based on race, gender, nationality, social origin, birth, religion, political or other belief, property, culture, language, age, physical disability. The constitutional prohibition of discrimination is further elaborated in the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, which defines discrimination as any unjustified differentiation or unequal treatment, or omission (exclusion, restriction or preference), as compared to individuals or groups as well as members of their families, or people close to them, in an overt or a covert way that is based on race, color, ancestry, citizenship, nationality or ethnic origin, language, religious or political beliefs, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial status, birth, genetic characteristics, health, disability, marital and family status, previous convictions, age, appearance, membership in political, trade union and other organizations and other real or presumed personal characteristics.
This law specifically prohibits discrimination against a person or a group of persons in relation to their state of health and it is prescribed that everyone has the right to equal access and equal protection of their rights before the public authorities, and that the discriminatory treatment of a responsible person within the public authority is considered as a serious violation of work duties.
Bearing in mind that you, as Deputy Head of the municipal administration, manage and take care of the legality of the work of the municipal administration, and without entering into an analysis of the actions of this body that are not within the competence of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, in order to prevent discrimination in this case by timely action, I RECOMMEND that you urgently review the actions of the Department of General Administration, Sector for General Administration by which M. F, due to his health condition, was prevented from exercising his right.
I expect that these recommendations will have a positive epilogue.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY
dr Nevena Petrušić