Saturday-Sunday, June 22-23, 1996

Ombudsman for Herzegovina and the Federation

Concerned About the Human Rights in Mostar

Mostar, Beta. - Sefik Hadzihasanovic, Ombudsman for Herzegovina and the Vice Ombudsman for the B-H Federation, noted yesterday at the press conference that the state of human rights in Mostar is alarming, having aggravated over the past few months. "It is illusory to speak of the human rights in a town where two entirely different legal systems are at work, [including] separate police, judicial systems, and all other institutions of government," Hadzihasanovic told Beta news agency.

Hadzihasanovic, formerly the president of the Municipal court of Mostar, Attorney general for Herzegovina, and president of the Managerial Court for Bosnia in former SFR Yugoslavia, specified that the recently established freedom of movement applies only to women, children, and elderly, while all men of military age do not go from one part of the city to another. He also noted that being able to reach oneUs former apartment, but not to enter it, is a common cause of ire among the populace. RCitizens are not guaranteed personal security, and threats and forceful entry into apartments are not uncommon, especially on the western [Croat] side. Such pressure in the past few months has made many move out from their apartments, because the police does not protect them,S Hadzihasanovic said.

As a particular absurd, Hadzihasanovic mentioned the problem facing the Mostarians who seek to regulate their legal matters, since all the documentation is in the eastern part of the city, out of reach of the inhabitants of the western part. On the other hand, Hadzihasanovic added that property books and birth/matrimonial certificates are located on the western side, so that the denizens from east are at pains for proving the legal ownership of real estate and marital/familial relations. As an indication of the condition human rights are in, Hadzihasanovic mentioned the absence of freedom of religion in the western part, where Serbs and Moslems are not allowed to perform religious customs, and priests are precluded from attending the funerals.

Send us your comments! Selected responses are posted daily.
Copyright © 1996 Yurope & "Nasa Borba" / All rights reserved