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no. 124

2002  May 1










·        The ASSEMBLY OF THE HELSINKI COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN BiH, at its regular annual meeting in Sarajevo, expressed its gratitude to Srdjan Dizdarevic who had been the head of this association from the very beginning, for more than seven years, and who relieved of his duty of President, on his request (more details in the column SPEC at the end of Faxletter)...

·        THE NEXT ISSUE OF FAXLETTER, the publication of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH, will not appear due to lack of financial support. About the affirmation of this publication speaks, among else, the fact that the website containing faxletter was visited by 195,000 interested readers in the last year...

·        The ENTITY CONSTITUTIONS of Bosnia and Herzegovina were changed by the decision of the High Representative of the International Community in BiH, Wolfgang Petritsch, on the realisation of the decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH by which the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska, as entities of the state of BiH, obligated to implement the constituency and equality of all the three peoples (Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats) throughout the country. This decision provides for parity and proportional participation of representatives of all three peoples and «others» in the legislative, executive and judiciary governmental bodies at all the levels of the state organisation. This eliminates national discrimination in BiH. The decision of the High Representative is a supplement to the decisions of the Parliaments of RS and FBiH. The People's Assembly of RS partly adopted the agreement reached by the political parties on the implementation of the decisions of the Constitutional Court of BiH, while the House of Peoples of the Parliament of BiH adopted the agreement as a whole. The majority of the House of Representatives voted for the proposal of the amendments but not the necessary two-thirds because of the obstructions by the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Union...

·        BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA EVEN FORMALLY BECAME 44th MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE at the ceremony held in Strasbourg on 24th of April...

·        BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION – stated during his visit to BiH the High Representative of EU for Foreign Policy and Security, Javier Solana, and invited local politicians to intensify the activities relating to the accession of BiH to EU...

·        BiH IS NOT YET READY TO BE RECEIVED TO THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE – is an estimate of the Secretary General of NATO, George Robertson, stated during his visit to BiH. Robertson stated, among else, that BiH (which actually has three nationally constituted armies) must have one command, and significant reduction of military costs in the budget...

·        THE PRIORITIES IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS in 2002 was the topic at the meeting of the High Representative, Wolfgang Petritsch, head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, Robert Beeckroft, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of the BiH Council of Ministers, Kresimir Zubak, and representatives of other institutions and non-governmental organisations engaged in this issue in BiH. A document made by the Coordinating Board on priority actions in this year was adopted. Five priorities are sustainable return, education, reform of police and judiciary, strengthening of the capacity of domestic partners and protection of minorities against discrimination. Three mortar shells were fired on the Muslim tomb in the hamlet Karlat near Koraj in Republika Srpska...

·        ANDjELKO MIROVIC, SERB, the municipality of Vlasenica in Republika Srpska, was arrested as suspect of killing with gun an under age Bosniak girl Meliha Duric on 11 June last year...

·        The MEMBERS OF SFOR, on the basis of one citizen's report, found in Mostar (BiH Federation) 5,000 120 mm mortar shells. Prior to that, the soldiers of SFOR discovered a large quantity of ammunition and explosive in a private house near Bileca (Republika Srpska)...Among else, 130 mortar shells of 60 mm and 96 RPGs were found.







·        The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands headed by the Prime Minister Wim Kok collectively resigned for moral reasons following the published report on the responsibility of the Dutch authorities for the massacre committed by the Army of Republika Srpska over about eight thousand Bosniaks in Srebrenica in July 1995. On the same occasion, the General Colonel, Advan Bal, the commander of the Dutch Armed Forces also resigned. Survived women of Srebrenica, mothers, wives and sisters of killed and disappeared Bosniaks are dissatisfied with such a stance of the Dutch authorities and ask for court responsibility. The representatives of the Institute for Research of Crimes of the University of Sarajevo sharply criticised the summary of the report about the Srebrenica tragedy made by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. Namely, the report does not speak of genocide but of  «Ethnic cleansing», and it does not speak of the aggression but of the «parties in conflict». The representatives of the Sarajevo Institute claim that the commander of the Dutch Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel, Karemans, in critical moments, prevented BiH Army from protecting the enclave that was proclaimed by UN as protected zone, and the international troops were obliged to protect it. According to the allegations, Karemans at the same time promised massive air strikes by NATO, which did not take place.

·        The massacre over Bosniaks in Srebrenica is announced to be discussed by the Congress of the USA, which is interpreted, among else, as a need of the Republican Party to compromise the behaviour of Bill Clinton and thus of the Democratic Party on the eve of the parliamentary elections in autumn. The protesters walking around the headquarters of the IMF and the World Bank in New York were bearing placards with «Remember Srebrenica» that is of lesser importance than the announced debate in the Congress. The association of People of Srebrenica in BiH also demonstrated its wish to initiate the issue of the American responsibility.

·        The President of the Trial Chamber during the trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague sharply warned Slobodan Milosevic, former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia, not to slender the prosecutors and investigators of the Hague Tribunal. Namely, Milosevic stated, during the hearing of the Albanian witness from Kosovo, that the Prosecutor had written the witness's testimony.

Milosevic is accused of crimes against humanity in Kosovo (FRY) and Croatia and of genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

·        The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, after having passed the Law on Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, gave three-day term to war criminals indicted by the Hague Tribunal to surrender.  Among the mentioned names (23 of them) there are former President of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Radovan Karadzic, allegedly being hiding somewhere between BiH and Montenegro (FRY) and the Commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, Ratko Mladic, allegedly in FRY. After the expiry of the term, six indicted persons reported having been ready to surrender voluntarily. Karadzic and Mladic are not among these six. Warrant arrests were issued for those who did not report themselves.

·        The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, Carla del Ponte, and Special Representative of the US Administration for the Issues of War Crimes, Pierre Richard Prosper, during the visit to BiH, exerted pressure against domestic authorities, particularly in Republika Srpska, to cooperate in arrest of war crimes suspects.

Prosper said that in RS there would be neither political nor economic progress as long as indicted war criminals such as Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were at large and announced further cooperation of the USA with NATO in this field.

·        A trial to Bosnian Serbs, brothers Obrenko and Miladin Sugic, accused of several murders and attempts of murders of Bosniaks, commenced before the District Court Chamber in Banja Luka (Republika Srpska – western Bosnia).

On 7 July 1992, brothers Sugic fired from automatic rifles at a truck and immediately killed Smajo Husanovic, while Kasim Sacic was seriously injured and died on the same day. Raif Jusic was also seriously injured. Brothers are also charged with murders of Sefik, Nijaz, Selim, Camo and Armin Culum. The indictment also charges Obrenko Sugic with murders of Ejub Kovac, Ejub and Halima Mujkanovic, and with wounding Dzevida Mujkanovic (she was seriously wounded) and Ismeta Mujkanovic (lightly injured).

This is the first trial in Republika Srpska to Serbs for mass murders of Bosniaks during the war. Miladin Sugic is in runaway.

·        Downtown of the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, and the cities in the Vojvodina province, Novi Sad and Kikinda (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) are pasted all over with the posters with the picture of the former President of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Radovan Karadzic, accused of war crimes, with the message «Every Serbs is Radovan» The poster was signed by the ultra-rightest organisation Otacastveni pokret «Obraz», and the local authorities obviously tolerate these chauvinistic great-serbian provocations.

The activists of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina glued over these posters the inscription that reads «Every Serbs is not a criminal».

·        In the Cantonal Court in Zenica (Federation of BiH – central Bosnia) the investigation is continued against Bosniak Edin Hakanovic by investigating new witnesses. Hakanovic is under the investigation because of reasonable suspicion of committing criminal acts of war crimes against civilian population and war crimes against prisoners of war in the area of Dusine, Kegelja and Brda, municipality of Zenica.

These proceedings are taking place upon the approval obtained from the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, and according to the Hague indictments, on 26th of January 1993, during the combat against the Croat Council of Defence in Central Bosnia, the forces of the Third Corps of the Army of BiH killed the civilian Vojislav Stanisic, Bosnian Serb, and five soldiers of CCD: Niko Kegelj, Stipo Kegelj, Vinko Kegelj, Pero Ljubicic and Augustin Rados, who had surrendered.

The investigation before the Cantonal Court in Zenica is brought into connection with the indictments against Bosniak Generals of the Army of BiH, Enver Hadzihasanovic and Brigadier Amir Kubura, who are tried in the Hague.

·        The Commissioner of the International Police in BiH (IPTF) Vincent Courderoy revoked temporary permits of four policemen because of suspicion of being involved in war crimes. These men are Serbs Zeljko Dragic, Goran Dunovic and Bosko Govedarica and Bosnik Almir Nuhic.







·        In the area of Kotor Varos (Republika Srpska – western Bosnia) 66 Bosniak victims killed by Serb nationalist were exhumed so far.

·        Seven bodies of killed Bosniaks were found in the grave in Stedric, municipality of Milici (Republika Srpska – eastern Bosnia). Among the killed ones there was a mother with two children she had been keeping in arms until Serb soldiers killed them.

·        In the location Hambarino Polje, municipality of Prijedor (Republika Srpska – north-western Bosnia) bodies of six killed persons were found, and in the nearby localities another two bodies were found. Presumably, they were Bosniak victims killed by Serb nationalists.

·        Out of eleven bodies of Bosniaks from a mass grave in the settlement Natpolje, municipality of Sipovo (Republika Srpska – western Bosnia), six were identified. These were Bosniaks from the village Jezero who had been executed by Serb nationalists.







·        The OHR Spokesperson, Oleg Milisic, has warned of an extremely low percent of the implementation of the property laws in some municipalities of Republika Srpska. Thus, that percent in Zvornik, Srebrenica, Bratunac, Srpsko Gorazde, Visegrad, Prijedor and Banja Luka as the biggest city in RS, is only between 10 and 15 percent.

·        According to the program of the Government of Federation of BiH, return of 107,500 citizens in entire BiH has been planned until the end of this year.

·        In Republika Srpska there is an estimate that about 50,000 persons could return to this entity in this year.

·        The implementation of the project «Sustainable Return to Posavina» is in course. The value of the project is 1.2 million KM (about 600,000 euro). The governments of Croatia, Japan and Republika Srpska are financing this project of return to northwestern part of Republika Srpska.

·        In the territory of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (Federation of BiH) and in eastern Herzegovina (Republika Srpska) about 10,000 houses and apartments should be reconstructed. Until now, about 13,000 housing units were reconstructed in that territory.

·        In Sarajevo, 13,618 citizens are registered as internally displaced in their own city. Some of them are accommodated in someone else's apartments or they are sub-tenants because their houses or apartments have not yet been reconstructed. Presumably, the number of such citizens is higher, but they are ashamed to register themselves as displaced persons in their own city.

·        Due to slow reconstruction of destroyed apartments in Sarajevan settlements Dobrinja I and IV, on the line between two entities, 350 families are still awaiting to return to their apartments. 450 apartments were repossessed in these two settlements.

·        In the last two months, return of tenants' rights has been accelerated in Srebrenica (Republika Srpska – eastern Bosnia). Out of 540 claims for repossession, in 384 cases the apartments were returned, and for another 80 apartments decisions were issued for repossessions and solutions for alternative accommodation for Serb families who temporarily live in these apartments are being looked for.

·        The Swedish Government made criteria for BiH refugees to obtain visa stricter. In an interview for Sarajevo-based «Dnevni avaz», the Swedish Ambassador to BiH Anders Möllander, stated that in the last two years seven thousand people from BiH asked for asylum in his country, and that the Swedish Government would not be giving asylum to people stating difficult economic situation and unemployment as reasons for obtaining visa.

At the beginning of the war, about 60,000 refugees from BiH came to Sweden, and more than half of them obtained Swedish citizenship. Other people from that group have permanent stay permit in that country. With the assistance and in the agreement with the Swedish Government, about 2,000 refugees returned to BiH.







·        The UN Mission in BiH is very dissatisfied with the work and engagement of Marinko Kovacevic, public prosecutor, in hearing of witness in a case of seven persons accused of making disorder, and of taking part in the incidents and in causing physical injuries to policemen during the attempt of laying of foundation stone for reconstruction of Ferhat-pasha mosque in Banja Luka on 18th of June – stated UNMIBH spokesperson for regions of Banja Luka and Bihac, Alun Roberts.
Roberts emphasised that Kovacevic did not appear at any of the hearings, and was changed instead by the inexperienced deputy. The second attempt of laying of foundation stone for the mosque in Banja Luka was in sign of attacks on police by nationalists. In the first attempt, on 5th of May, Bosniaks, Bosniak politicians and foreign diplomats were assaulted. There were tens of injured persons, and one Bosniak died after being seriously wounded in the nationalistic violence. That murder has not yet been lighted up.

·        Zeljko Sutilovac, Bosnian Serb, was acquitted by the court in Banja Luka (Republika Srpska – western Bosnia) because of lack of charges for criminal act of violent behaviour during the second attempt of laying of foundation stone for the Ferhadija mosque.

Vaskrsije Davidovic was sentenced because of the same act to four months imprisonment, and Jelenko Gracanin and Dragan Beric were sentenced to three months imprisonment for the same act. Four Serbs are fined.

According to Sarajevo-based «Oslobodjenje» of 16th of April, in Velika Kladusa (Federation of BiH – north-western Bosnia) an incident was prevented on the occasion of revealing of the monument dedicated to killed members of the Army of BiH thanks to security service and engagement of about 200 members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton.

Followers of the local leader, Fikret Abdic, are against the monument. Two days later, «Dnevni avaz» published information from the press conference of the Party for BiH which stressed that the presence of a large number of policemen with dogs on such occasion sent a bad picture about the Una-Sana Canton.

During the war, Velika Kladusa was a centre of the parastate «Autonomous region of Western Bosnia» established by Fikret Abdic, former member of the BiH Presidency, who, during the war, opposed to legal authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and established his administration in that region as well as his paramilitary units, that were opposed to the units of the legal Army of BiH, and cooperated with the Presidents of Serbia and Croatia, Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman, who led the policy of division of BiH.

The trial to Abdic is in course in a neighbouring Croatia for war crimes against Bosniak civilians, since he has got Croatian citizenship. Abdic still enjoys a great reputation among Bosniaks in that part of BiH and he is the head of the Party of Democratic Union, which is the main opponent to the Party of Democratic Action, that is responsible for war and post-war repression against Abdic's followers, and often qualifying its political opponents by the term «autonomas». The Party of Democratic Action now also has a decisive role in the Una-Sana Canton, especially in the police and judiciary.

·        The High Representative of the International Community in BiH, Wolfgang Petritsch, passed the decisions to cease the temporary suspension of the implementation of the Law on Privatisation of Socially Owned Apartments in Republika Srpska , which had been imposed to prevent unlawful privatisation. Namely, there were a number of cases in which temporary occupants of apartments succeeded, unlawfully, in coming into possession of apartments because of war circumstances and thus it was necessary to make revision in such cases.

·        The UN Mission in BiH is expecting that in 2002 the status will be resolved of 3,000 policemen whose housing situation is not clear. Namely, none of the policeman cannot get temporary permit or final certificate from the International Police (IPTF) for performing job if it is found out that he breaches the Property Laws.

·        The Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons of Republika Srpska should provide the construction materials for reconstruction of 20 houses of Bosniak policemen who would work in RS, now being temporary accommodated in the BiH Federation.

·        «The judiciary in Livno and Herceg-Bosna Canton is not independent and does not work professionally, since it is under the control of the Croatian Democratic Union» – stated the leader of the Centre for Affirmation of Human Rights and Freedoms in Livno, Munib Sehic, according to Dnevni list of 19 April. Sehic stressed that the prosecution and judiciary in this area work «as HDZ wishes».

This information is attracting special attention because Dnevni list is a newspaper having a reputation as the HDZ ultra right wing.

·        According to the information of Ombudsmen of the Federation of BiH, based on number of cases they processed in the last year, the most frequent violation of human rights relate to the right to apartment (3,976 cases), than follow equality before the law (3,190 cases), property rights (1,219 cases), right to work (436 cases), social and health protection (139 cases).







·        The Youth Information Agency published the results of a research according to which young people compose 20 percent of the BiH population, and only one third is going to the polls. The participation of youth in the authorities is very low. Only one person younger than 30 years is on the position of a minister (at the level of the state, entity and canton). In the legislative bodies, there are only 20 young representatives, i.e. 97 percent of all the members of parliaments of BiH are older than 30 years.

·        The Election Commission of BiH stated that the general elections would be held on 5th of October, for the first time according to rounded up electoral system, not as earlier according to the Rules and Regulations of the Provisional Election Commission. This was enabled by the changes of the entity constitutions, which were partly adopted by the Parliament of Republika Srpska and Federation of BiH and partly imposed by the High Representative, Wolfgang Petritsch.







·        By the decision of the Director of Post-Office and Telecommunication Company (HPT), Mostar (Federation of BiH – central Herzegovina) Stipe Prlic, Croat, and the Managing Board, five Bosniak workers are returned to work posts to the Telecommunication Centre in Livno (Federation of BiH – south-western Bosnia), out of eleven who had been sent to the «waiting list» in 1993. It was a discrimination against Bosniaks and Serbs by the Croatian Democratic Union that is even now dominant in the area of Livno.







·        In BiH, about 95 percent of children of eight years of age are included in the primary education. About 95 percent of the population of BiH older than 15 years is literate. These are results of the research conducted by the UNICEF.

·        In the organisation of the mobile.culture.containerima, a debate was held in Mostar (Federation of BiH – central Herzegovina) on human rights and the knowledge the young people have in this field. The lecturers were from the Council of Europe Office in Mostar and the Centre for Human Rights in this city.

·        The Chairman of the Presidency of BiH, Beriz Belkic, delivered a lesson on democracy and human rights to the students of the Second Gymnasium in Sarajevo.







·        Radomir Kosic, the Counsellor in the Embassy of BiH in London, after being suspended for some time, has been returned to his work post. He promised that he would not abuse his wife any more.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH suspended Kosic when it received information from the Foreign Office that Kosic had battered his wife.

·        The organisation «Women to Women International» presented in Vogosca (Federation of BiH – central Bosnia) a project dedicated to human rights of women in rural areas. This project is being realised for already six months and about 300 women from the municipalities of central Bosnia are involved in it.







·        Perish Priest, Branko Karalic from Vukanovici in central Bosnia said that the Catholic Church was taking part in the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, following the statement of the Zadar Archbishop (Republic of Croatia) msgr. Ivan Prenda, saying that the Church would give free of charge 2 acres of land to Croats from BiH to construct the houses.

He stated for the Rijeka «Novi list» that the Church should clearly state that it was a sin to live in someone else's property and to leave own land and stressed: «The Church takes part in homogenisation of Croats and reduces them exclusively under the umbrella of national affiliation, which is not European Catholicism but Balkan Catholicism» - stated Karalic who has been already for ten years struggling for stay and return of Croats to Bosnia and Herzegovina from his Perish near Kakanj.

Croats left central Bosnia because of war actions and even more because of the policy of the late President of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman and the Croat Democratic Union, which strived, through «humane resettlement» of people, to ethnic division of BiH and to homogenisation of Croats.







·        The High Representative of the International Community, Wolfgang Petritsch, warned the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Mladen Ivanic, that he would be forced to undertake necessary measures to protect the independency of the Radio TV of Republika Srpska from political influence. On that occasion, Petritsch asked for withdrawal of the draft law on RTRS from the assembly procedure.

·        The Managing Board of Radio TV of Republika Srpska removed Jelena Davidovic from the post of General Director of that house and nominated Acting Director, Radomir Neskovic, journalist of RTRS.

·        The Supervisory Board of the shareholding company «Oslobodjenje nominated as Director of that house, Enes Terzic, graduated lawyer from Sarajevo.

·        The Club of the Party of Democratic Action in the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Federation of BiH exerted pressure against the federal television asking for debate to be held about the information-political show that had discussed the request to initiate investigation against the former high party and intelligence officials who had been performing those jobs as SDA staff – Bakir Alispahic, Enver Mujezinovic and Irfan Ljavakovic, suspected of being involved in terrorism.

The Journalist Associations strongly condemned this pressure against the editor, Bakir Hadziomerovic, journalist Damir Kaletovic and federal TV.

·        Radio network BORAM, which gathers 23 local radio stations from entire Bosnia and Herzegovina started realising the project of joint news that will be broadcast twice a day on entire network.

·        Ministry of Justice and Administration of the Canton of Sarajevo should supervise in future the work of the TV Sarajevo, the founder of which is the Canton of Sarajevo. This came about after the intervention of the Ombudsmen of the Federation of BiH because of the practice in the cantons of the Federation of BiH to establish the ministries for information as well, thus exerting unlawful pressure against media. Thus, the Ministry for Education, Science and Information of the Canton of Sarajevo will loose not only the competence over the TVSA but also the term «information» from its name.

However, the solution to have the Ministry of Justice and Administration as supervisory body over the RTSA cannot be considered as appropriate one.

·        All employees of RTV Zenica will not become automatically employees of the newly created RTV of Zenica-Doboj Canton (Federation of BiH – central Bosnia) but they will first have to apply on the advertisement regardless of number of years of work experience.

·        According to «Dnevni avaz» from Mostar, the Founding Assembly was held in this city of the Association of the Operators of the Cable TV in BiH. In BiH there are 25 operators. First connections to cable TV are expected in Mostar in next month.







·        The Assembly of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH, at its regular annual meeting in Sarajevo, accepted the resignation of Srdjan Dizdarevic who was the President of the Committee for more than seven years, i.e. from its establishment. Although there were requests expressed at the meeting that Dizdarevic stay at the post of the President, finally his arguments speaking of being overtired and of a new person to become the head of the Committee were accepted. The Steering Board of the HC, which was also relieved of duty according to the Statute, could not offer a proposal for a new President of the Helsinki Committee because three candidates they had spoken to did not accept the candidature. Under such circumstances, the Assembly elected new seven-member Steering Board of the HC, including: Zivica Abadzic, Senka Nozica, Srdjan Dizdarevic, Enver Murgic, Sinan Alic, Vlado Cvijic and Vladimir Dolocek. Murgic is elected as Acting President of the Steering Board until new President be elected, and Zivica Abadzic was elected as Secretary General.


The Assembly of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH has adopted a series of documents relating to the work in the last year, as well as changes and amendments to the Statute, the text of which will be adopted at the next session of the Assembly. In his introductory speech, the President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, estimated that the last year was the most fruitful in the seven-year long history of the Helsinki Committee. Apart from publishing seven-month and yearly reports on the state of human rights in BiH, a detailed analysis was made on the state of women's human rights in BiH as well as the analysis of the state of media from the aspect of human rights. The team of the Helsinki Committee visited in the last year correctional institutions in BiH and on the basis of that made a report on the situation in the correctional institutions. Dizdarevic particularly stressed that greater number of activists were involved in the work of the Committee than ever before, and that the network of monitors covered almost entire territory of BiH. Dizdarevic reminded that the representatives of the Committee visited those municipalities in BiH in which human rights were being violated in the most drastic forms, and it also reacted on all cases not being in compliance with respect for human rights and freedoms. The legal service of the Committee in the last year rendered direct assistance to 7,045 citizens.

The President of the HC stressed that the Helsinki Committee remained consistent to itself even in cases of the strongest pressures and attempts to deprive it of the right to be independent and to have principles in respect to protection of human rights and emphasised: «It seems that the most significant message of our seven year long activities, as well as the last distressing events (the case of the «Algerian group») in and around the Helsinki Committee, is that the Helsinki Committee, regardless of all difficulties, must stick to the universal principles of human rights and remain consistent to those principles».


Speaking of the programme of work for this year, the President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, stressed: After having been engaged in the last years in cases of drastic violations of human rights that implied cases in which lives were threatened, property, equality of gender, freedom of expression, rights of returnees, the rights of the child, the time has come to, not abandoning to deal with these issues, to dedicate attention to social, economic, environmental and other, I would say, more sophisticated human rights. Bosnia and Herzegovina is still the country with numerous violations of human rights, the country characterised by daily cases of discrimination on ethnic, political and gender basis, and also the country of relative poverty, country in transition, without adequate mechanisms to protect the most vulnerable groups, retired people, disabled, unemployed, children without parents...»

The members of the Committee in their discussion, among else, insisted on initiative to be launched again for integration of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska, the leadership of which rejected the integration.

The Assembly of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BiH appealed that violence in Near East be stopped, giving full support to legitimate rights of Palestinians to the state in which they will be able to leave in peace with Israeli. The Assembly expressed its special gratitude to the Swedish Helsinki Committee for its support, including the financial one also, without which the HC would not be in the position to function in good quality.



FAXLETTER is produced by the
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHC).

It is published by the BHC
and the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), Vienna.

This project is co-financed by the Helsinki Committee in Norway and Helsinki Committee in Sweden.

"We would like to express our special gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany which enabled further publishing of the bulletin by its donation."

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BH is realising the project “Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Monitoring and Legal Assistance” with the financial support of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights at the European Union.