Serbian Resistance OTPOR
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Human Rights Award 2001

Serbian Resistance Movement OTPOR

Political context

What is OTPOR? Founded in autumn 1998, OTPOR is a student protest movement that formed as a result of the repressions of the Milosevic dictatorship against critical professors and students in Belgrade. The protest lasted for three months and the clenched fist became the symbol of the movement for the democratically orientated youth of Serbia. During the mass demonstrations against the Milosevic regime in 1999, OTPOR managed to spread the resistance to the majority of the population and even organised demonstrations in the Serbian provinces. More and more citizens of all ages and professions became members of OTPOR: The initiative grew from a student to a grass roots movement and had more than 60,000 members in 2000.

Some impressions of the award

The Awardee

By presenting the human rights award 2001 on October 4th, the student protest movement OTPOR was honoured for its commitment to human rights and to peace in Serbia and for contributing to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic regardless of the dangers to their members. They stand for a democratic Serbia and have contributed to the reconciliation of a split opposition. Their strategy of non-violence toppled a dictator without shedding any blood.

Further Information
Publications Brochure on the Human Rights Award 2001 (German) Links to Publications Beiträge zur Konfliktregion (ehemaliges) Jugoslawien (German) AG Friedensforschung an der Universität Kassel (German) Report of an Expert Commission Assessment of human rights relations in former Yugoslavia (1994) The Balkans: On War, Peace and Europe. By Britta Joerissen, Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, January 2007 Links Website of the „International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia“ Website of the International Crisis Group – Serbia Website about the FES work in the region South East Europe (German) Website of the FES in Serbia (German)