The European Parliament urged Serbia on Thursday to take appropriate measures against a Serb ultra-nationalist for alleged “wartime rhetoric.”
The parliament passed a resolution strongly condemning Vojislav Šešelj for what it said was his “warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path.”
It called on the Serbian authorities to investigate Šešelj’s behavior and take appropriate measures if he has violated legislation outlawing “hate speech” and other inflammatory comments.
Earlier this month, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) provisionally released Šešelj for cancer treatment after almost 12 years in detention.
The EU said that since his release on November 12, Šešelj has publicly called for the creation of a “Greater Serbia” and “stated claims on neighboring countries,” including Croatia, an EU member.
The 60-year-old is charged with murder, torture, cruel treatment and wanton destruction of villages during the 1990s Balkan wars. He pleaded not guilty, and the ICTY’s verdict in the case still pending.
Croatian lawmakers have called him to be returned to custody for spreading “hatred and intolerance” since his release.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić slammed the EU resolution, calling it offensive for his country and its people.
“The [European Parliament] resolution itself is offensive for Serbia, disturbing for its citizens, and very disappointing,” said
Šešelj was the president of the Serbian Radical Party since its foundation until his extradition to the ICTY in 2003.