Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic showed security camera footage of a person under arrest, drawing criticism from the country’s personal information watchdog.
Stefanovic showed the footage of one of the protesters arrested following last weekends incident at the Serbian state TV (RTS) to try to disprove his claims of police brutality which the Office of the Information Commissioner said was in violation of the law.
Uros Savic, a member of the opposition Dveri party, claimed to have been hit in the ribs, pinched and left without food and water for two days while in police custody. “I was treated like a bandit or killer and was abused by the police. Suffice it to say that I was left without water and food for 50 hours,” Savic said.
Minister Stefanovic reacted at a news conference, showing video footage of Savic in a holding cell and giving a schedule of when he was given food and water. “These people treated him like a guest,” the minister said, adding that what the Dveri member was doing is an abuse of the police.
The Office of the Commissioner warned that the minister needed to have the permission of the person on the video and the legal powers to show it in public. “Security camera recordings cannot be published at news conference, on YouTube or anywhere else in public. This is a classic case of illegal processing of personal information in violation of the law,” Zlatko Petrovic of the Office of the Commissioner said. He added that the Office would investigate before taking measures under the law.