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Historical Introduction

Serbia is a country in South-East Europe, on the Balkan pensinsula, the biggest and most important republic in former Yugoslavia. After loss of freedom to Osman Empire, Serbia nevertheless kept its religion and identity, restoring its independence in XIX century and becoming after the I WW cornerstone for Yugoslavia. During the II WW Yugoslavia was occupied by German, Italian and Bulgarian forces. The partisan war started, where national and communist partisans fought at the same time against invaders and each others. After communist’s victory in the civil war, in 1945 massive terror against non-communist forces was started, witnessed by several massacres – in Bleiburg, Jazovka – with hundreds of thousand victims. In 1946 the leaders of Serbian national partisans – chetniks were captured and executed. After communist seizure of full power terror continued, now mostly by arrests and torture. Only between 1948-63 at least 55 633 people were arrested in communist Yugoslavia, one fifth of them was send to infamous Goli Otok prison island. Even as compared to other communist countries Yugoslavia was quite liberal, the arrests of dissidents continued there through all communist period.