Assistance to detained and incarcerated individuals


Detention or arrest abroad

In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the competent authorities shall, without delay, inform the consular post if a citizen of the Republic of Serbia is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights and provide him, at his request, contact with the diplomatic mission or consular post.

Consular officers shall have the right to visit a citizen of the Republic of Serbia who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him, to arrange for his legal representation and receiving appropriate medical care. They can also give him legal advice regarding the regulations of the Republic of Serbia or the regulations of the receiving State and give a list of lawyers who speak Serbian language.

If he so requests, the diplomatic-consular mission will inform the family in the Republic of Serbia about his predicament.

A diplomatic or consular mission cannot: release a citizen of the Republic of Serbia detained abroad; pay the costs of a lawyer hired at the choice of a person deprived of liberty or his family or pay bail for temporary release; take on the role of a lawyer and represent a person deprived of liberty before judicial authorities; testify in court about someone's guilt or innocence; serve as an official interpreter or translator; pay medical expenses.

However, consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action.

For all information on submitting a request and necessary documentation to obtain more detailed information on a detained or convicted family member abroad, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contact information can be found here.


Transfer of sentenced persons

According to the criminal legislation of the R. of Serbia, there exists a possibility for our nationals sentenced to prison terms abroad to continue to serve their prison term in Serbia if the matter has been regulated by an international treaty with the country in which they serve their term or on the basis of mutuality. When persons having permanent residence in the territory of the R. of Serbia are involved, or persons born in the territory of the R. of Serbia, the transfer thereof, for the purpose of serving the prison sentence in the Republic of Serbia, may take place in respect of countries with which an international treaty has been concluded but also on the basis of mutuality.



  • The sentenced person must be a national of the R. of Serbia;
  • The sentence must have been pronounced abroad and must be effective and enforceable;
  • The remaining part of the penalty which the sentenced person should serve must be at least six months (in accordance with the Convention) counting from the date when the application for transfer was received, or indefinitely;
  • The sentenced person must submit an application to that effect or give his/her consent;
  • The criminal offence for which the person has been sentenced abroad must be deemed to be a criminal offence also in the R. of Serbia;
  • The two countries must reach agreement regarding the transfer of sentenced persons.

The competent authority for the transfer of sentenced persons is the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia.