Jezik / Language:
5 March 2010

Protests Held in Sarajevo in Support of Ejup Ganic

More than three thousand students from Sarajevo Science and Technology School, representatives of war veterans associations and Sarajevo citizens gathered to express their dissatisfaction with the arrest of Ejup Ganic.
"We have initiated protests as students, individuals and citizens of this country. The aim is to defend Professor Ganic and, by doing that, to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would also like to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the British Government's decision to arrest and keep Professor Ganic in custody," said Amela Becarevic, a student at Sarajevo Science and Technology School. Ganic is Rector and Professor at the School.

Ganic, a wartime member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested in London on March 1, "on the basis of a preliminary request by Serbian authorities". He was arrested on suspicion that he participated, in May 1992, in an attack on the Yugoslav National Army, JNA, convoy in Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo. He was ordered into custody that can last until March 29 this year.

Citizens expressing support for Ganic gathered in front of the British Embassy and then moved to the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia.

"We have gathered here to express our resolute protest against the incorrect and unlawful behaviour by the British Embassy and the British Government, which unlawfully arrested the wartime Presidency member and violated international regulations," Avdo Hebib, President of the Patriotic League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said.

Bozidar Matic, President of the Academy of Science and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said this was "the last attempt by Serbian authorities to criminalize Ejup Ganic due to the mere fact that he performed the function of a member of the Presidency of an internationally recognized country when the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina began".

Ivo Komsic, a former member of the Bosnian Presidency, said the present situation would "aggravate relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, which were improving".  

"I do not deny that there were casualties in Dobrovoljacka Street and murders were committed, but our judiciary should investigate that. If someone is guilty, he should be tried. However, these problems will not be solved in this way. I can understand why Serbia has made this request, but Great Britain did not have to fulfill it," Komsic said.

"If Europe is trying to teach us democracy, we, the students, are giving those European teachers a negative mark," said Zijad Bratic, President of Disabled Soldiers of Sarajevo Canton.

Dragan Mijokovic, Senior Inspector at the Police Commissioner Office of Sarajevo Canton, said there were no problems, incidents or use of force by police at the protest.
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