On the discussion in the amphitheatre in the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (PMF) yesterday, our guests were Sonja Biserko, President, and Biljana Kovacevic, Vice-President of the Helsinki Committee for human rights in Serbia. The topics were the organization, spheres of activity and aims of this organization founded in 1994. The Helsinki committee is the only organization in Yugoslavia occupied with protection of human rights, because a country without a law-abiding government does not have organizations with responsibilities such as these. From the beginning of the demonstrations we have witnessed attempts of the government to terrify people by threatening and arresting them with no excuses for those actions. The arrests are unselective ( the singling out of people is not based on their popularity) in order to terrify the citizens - an indication that anyone could get arrested. Our guests pointed out that the threats and arrests had been going on before the protest too, but they did not have coverage by the media. In situations such as these people turn to the government which will not offer any protection, for it is also part of the great mechanism of this totalitarian regime. The Helsinki Committee is an international organization unrecognized by the government, but with an advantage of being able to point any human rights violations to the International Community which would, otherwise, be kept out of sight by the regime. Legal assistance by the Helsinki Committee is not possible, but it looks into, registers and reports to the public all such cases. It approaches the government first ( as a warning) and then international organizations for the protection of human rights. Aside from this, the Committee looks into the freedom and independence of the media and reports to the IC.

P.S. In a state without a law-abiding government we are all a little to blame. The Helsinki Committee is our bond with international organizations for the preservation of human rights.

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