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Raisu-l-ulama wrote a letter to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the President of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina after attacks against returnees and the Islamic Community in Republika Srpska

reisu l ulema 4

Sarajevo, 13 March 2019 (MINA) – Raisu-l-ulama sent a letter today to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the President of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, calling for the government and judicial institutions to stop the malicious campaign of pressures and attacks against returnees and the Islamic Community in the BH entity of Republika Sprska. Raisu-l-uslema's Office also shared the contents of this letter with the High Representative of the International Community in B&H, Mr. Valentin Inzko,  Head of EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, His Excellency Mr. Lars-Gunnar Winemark, and the embassies of the member states of the Peace Implementation Council.

The letter states:

- The appalling events which have occurred in the past few days in the entity of Republika Srpska have brought insecurity to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially Bosniak returnees, who are members of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The rally of paramilitary Chetnik forces in Višegrad, at the very same place where some of the participants of the rally had committed atrocious crimes against innocent civilians and a call for new crimes to be committed must not pass unpunished and the members of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina rightfully expect such a rally never to be repeated anywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina again.

The Islamic Community has no information on the results of the investigation into threats on social media which have been addressed directly to Bosanski Novi imam, Emir Nuhić and his family by a person identified by the police, who threatened the imam that he would „rape his daughter and wife in the mosque.“ Our public is also awaiting the information on the attack on a mosque in Prijedor, which was covered in nationalistic graffiti.

The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the members of the Islamic Community were particularly upset by the attack against Azrin Hodžić from Prijedor yesterday, which reminded all of us, especially the few people who have managed to return to their homes there, of what innocent civilians had gone through in that town and other Bosnian towns from 1992 to 1995. It is positive that the attacker was promptly arrested, but we expect the public prosecutor's office will treat this attack as a hate crime, which will be considered an aggravating circumstance for the perpetrator and those who ordered this attack. Failing to process this and similar attacks as hate crimes with a very clear political message sends the wrong message that the revival of peaceful coexistence in this region is impossible and that criminals enjoy political support of individuals and institutions in certain levels of the government. This is why we are concerned about the information that in today's session of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina some political parties refused to at least unambiguously condemn the Višegrad rally organized by Ravna Gora Chetnik movement.

We hope and expect the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entity of Republika Srpska, in accordance with the authorities given to them by the constitution, will process all participants in this malicious campaign that is beginning to appear more and more like a carefully planned undertaking which, unless we react in the right way, can have far-reaching consequences.“