LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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21 Oct

Police officials at the Police station in Vlasotince, Serbia, acted unprofessionally towards a victim of violence – a trans* man – who called them to report a violent physical attack by people, who have already physically attacked him other times in the past.
Vanja Vukajlović is a trans* man who lives in Vlasotince with his fiancé, and has been attacked multiple times in the past, by same people, already known to police, prosecutors and court, since he already brought criminal charges against them in the past.
Little after midnight on Tuesday, Vanja was headed to a local, 24h bakery around the corner from his house. Soon after leaving his home, three men confronted him and started harnessing him. The loudest of three told him: “What happened about last year’s stuff? You couldn’t do anything in the court!”
The attackers then started to punch him, one punched him in the right eye. “I held my head with my hands, it is then that they threw me on the ground and started to kick me while offending me for being trans* person”, Vukajlović told the lawyer from CSO “Egal”.
One of the attackers hit Vanja in the nose, which started bleeding. They yelled at him: “Woman, you have a pussy, and you want to get penis sawn on you? You’ve been already told to sit down on your ass, and quiet down if you don’t want things to get worse!”
Vukajlović was loudly shouting, calling for help the entire time the attack was happening, but none of the people in the bakery came outside to help him, they just observed what was happening.
At some point, two police officers wearing gray uniforms showed up, who instead of applying actions necessary for capturing the offenders, proceeded with laughing at Vukajlović. He told the police officers that he was just attacked by the same people who have already attacked him in the past, and who have been harassing him for about a year. He asked them to let him call his fiancé, but they told him to wait for them to call backup so they could capture the attackers, since he showed them the direction in which they had run away. After that he hasn’t heard since.
Even though this is clearly a hate-fueled crime, police in Vlasotince didn’t take any action towards capturing the attackers, which forced Vukajlović to contact EGAL for help. EGAL’s legal team will make sure it takes all the necessary actions in order to have arrested and prosecuted the attackers, who have been putting Vanja and Vanja’s fiancé’s life in danger, in the past year. Special attention will be put to make the unprofessional police officers investigated and sanctioned. 

Country - Serbia