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Statement on AMLU's CSO investigation
July 29, 2020

The United States is concerned by the appearance of a selective investigation into several Serbian civil society organizations and investigative journalism outlets.

The list of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit (AMLU) includes a large number of prominent organizations and individuals, many of which work to promote democracy, strengthen rule of law, and help Serbia make progress toward EU accession.

Civil society organizations have legitimate roles and important responsibilities in democratic societies – including Serbia – as do media outlets and journalist associations.

We urge the Government of Serbia to uphold its constitutional and international obligations to protect fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and assembly and avoid the selective application of the law to pressure independent organizations.

The United States stands ready to assist Serbia on the road toward EU membership.  However, the appearance that Belgrade might be stifling civil society or the free press will harm Serbia’s reputation and hamper its advance toward that worthy goal.