Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crime and Politics

Balkan Insight article:
"Tensions are running high in Mostar, in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, following the murder of a member of a local radical Muslim Wahhabi sect."

DOSTA! movement press statement: Stop hate speech now!

The DOSTA! movement strongly condemns the recent murder of Magdi Dizdarević, a young man from Mostar who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid with his life for his attempt to help a man in trouble.

We demand that the relevant agencies do their job, conduct the investigation and promptly bring the guilty to justice. It is a disgrace that Magdi's murderers are freely moving about Mostar, while the police, in spite of many eye witnesses, announce that the investigation will take months and that they have no basis on which to apprehend suspects. Our streets are already filled with murders who walk at liberty and unaccused criminals, while ordinary citizens increasingly fear for their own personal safety on those same streets. This is the last chance for those in authority to finally take on their responsibilities.

We invite all actors in the public sphere to abstain from inappropriate and rude commentary by which they want to use this tragedy to spread hate speech, creating new divisions in society and political marketing. We call on our fellow citizens not to allow the loss of yet another human life to be justified for any kind of reasons or to use it as a means to incite further violence. It is saddening and frightening that the need exists at all to remind people to be human. But that is exactly what we most need to be.

We hope that citizens of Mostar will show that they have enough human solidarity and civic responsibility not only to insist that the responsible authorities take action immediately, but also that they come forward with any information they might have, in order that Magdi's killers will be apprehended as soon as possible.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Theater of the Absurd

"What is the reason for these posters? Because of the situation in Mostar, we have already several times invited the city council to do its job and even asked OHR to be involved in the question of Mostar.

OHR has not in any way answer the letter we sent which was signed by some 700 citizens, so we are not relying on help from the Office any longer.

As far as the city councillor are concerned, if they had any sense of shame, conscious or courage, they would already have handed in their own resignations.

However, the problem is much greater, the problem is that the city council has turned into a chess game of nationalist politics.

As many members of the media have already commented, it is clear that the problem is connected with HDZ - SDA. One side says, "We made an agreement, which they have not respected", while the other side always replies that the agreement was different from what the other side said. They prefer to keep the citizens of Mostar as "sheep in a pen", separated, deceived.

This is the reason for these posters. That we show Čović, Tihić and their cronies (because there are still more "Čović"s and "Tihić"s out there!) that they will not succeed. We don't recognize a border at the Boulevard, for us Mostar doesn't have two sides-- only the river Neretva has two sides.

What is even more important is that because of these "sheep corrals" with nationalistic shepherds, Mostarians are going hungry. Shame on you all, they are not seeking what belongs to you or to others, but rather simply to what they have earned. And you, Čović i Tihić, are forcing them to seem pathetic because they must beg you to feed them at last.

We remind you again, our citizens are endangered not by nationalism but by social conditions!

The tragedy, gentlemen, is what you are doing. But because of our fellow citizens and future generations, we will not allow this to continue! And you cannot silence us. While your black pawns and you kings make your moves on this chessboard, we will stand as a mass of white pawns. We won't allow you to make the first move any longer."

--press release of the DOSTA! movement

Apartment hunting

A billboard in the center of Mostar pokes fun at recently-resigned premiere Nedžad Branković, who was implicated in a corruption scandal related to a property deal. When questioned on how he had actually purchased his apartment, he replied "I don't remember... but I did it legally." The billboard says-- "Best deal on apartment! 1.23 sq meters, 920 KM (nb: about $600) with a certificate of value. Real Estate done legally".