300 euros fine for physical violence against women!
The Basic Court in Gjilan, General Department, Criminal Division, judge Snežana Mihajlović in verdict number P.nr.287 / 21 has imposed a fine of 300 euros and has considered the criminal offense of minor bodily injury, against the defendant who has exercised violence against his wife.
According to Article 185 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, “ Whoever inflicts light bodily injury to another person, which results in: temporarily damaging or weakening an organ or a part of the body of the other person, shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment of up to three (3) years. ”. However, paragraph 3 of the same article states that “When the offense provided for in this Article is committed against a vulnerable victim, or is motivated by… gender the perpetrator shall be: 3.1. imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years. ”
With that being said, based on the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, the indictment, and the facts of the case in question, we assess that the Basic Court in Gjilan has failed to impose a meritorious sentence for such an act. The minimum sentence for this offense should be 6 months imprisonment. Among others, the Basic Court in Gjilan did not take into account any of the aggravating circumstances of the case, mentioned in the indictment.
The scandalous fine of 300 euros only legitimizes domestic violence, especially against women as one of the most marginalized groups in society. Also, such sentences negatively affect citizens’ trust in the justice institutions and discourage victims from reporting cases of domestic violence.
YIHR KS calls on justice institutions to treat cases of domestic violence seriously and in accordance with the law and to impose meritorious punishments on the perpetrators of such acts.
We also call on the Kosovo Judicial Council to analyze this case and to functionalize its mechanisms in relation to cases where judges do not exercise their duties in accordance with applicable law and to take all appropriate actions to prevent such crimes.
This case was identified following a request for access to public documents by YIHR KS monitors in the basic courts in Kosovo.