The incidents described in this report may appear less than dramatic when compared to
the violent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the previous decade. The incidents
nonetheless demand urgent attention. The current low-level violence, if not curbed, has
the potential to result in the escalation of violence and a further deterioration of interethnic relations.

Analysis of the government’s response to anti-minority violence in Serbia since 2003
indicates that the authorities have failed to take the phenomenon seriously. Rather than
tackle the problem head-on, the authorities have sought to minimize it. While some
incidents with alleged ethnic motivation were later established to have taken place for
reasons unrelated to ethnicity, authorities have been quick to deny ethnic motivation
even before any meaningful investigation into the incidents was completed. The failure
of the government to take these incidents seriously alienates minority communities and
heightens fears in those communities that the government will not provide protection
should there be a future outbreak of violence.

October 2005

The report is available here.