Sunday, September 30, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Dr Haris Silajdžić received a Delegation of the Council of Europe Monitoring Commission, consisted of Kimmo Sasi, Mevlűt Cavusoglu, Caroline Ravaud i Artemy Karpenko.

The Delegation members were interested in reform process in Bosnia, especially turning to the human rights respect. Mr. Sasi emphasized that the Council of Europe carefully monitors the situation in Bosnia.

He was especially interested in possible steps forward regarding police reform, as well as the content of the OHR Draft Protocol.

Dr Silajdžić stressed out the importance of the Council of Europe’s role in Bosnia ,and emphasized that Bosnia would continue to fulfill all commitments as a member of the Council of Europe.

He especially pointed out that support to human rights respect in Bosnia and Herzegovina was everybody’s duty, domestic and international actors.

“Police reform in Bosnia is a key for signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union and during its implementation, above all, the principle of human rights respect must be observed”, said Dr Silajdžić.

At the end, Dr Silajdžić thanked the Delegation members for their visit and wished them a pleasant stay in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – “I welcome the decision by the Presidency of the Party for Democratic Action (SDA) to agree to the Draft Protocol on fulfilling the police reform requirements necessary for initialing and signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union,a basis for police reform in Bosnia," the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajcak said.

"The Protocol constitutes a proposal that is in line with the three EU principles. Its adoption paves Bosnia's way towards the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union," Lajcak said.

"This shows that SDA is committed to shaping a European future for Bosnia and ready to find solutions in the interest of all citizens of this country," Lajcak added.

Only three days remain for parliamentary parties, which still have not yet done so, to advance towards the EU road”, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajčák said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – The FBIH Entity Government determined the Bill on Agriculture and sent it to the emergency parliamentary procedure.

The Bill determines agricultural sector; all the functional and institutional needs of the sector, as well as the goals and measures of agricultural policy that have not been determined in one document.

A large number of rules and decrees regulate the agricultural sector in the FBIH entity. There is no systematic legislation to determine all the needs of the sector. That is why this Bill is important.

Damir Ljubic, the FBIH Entity Minister of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry stated that the Bill enables a better positioning of agricultural sector and an increase of production and competition. He announced that bigger sums will be provided for the sector.

Apart from the agricultural policy measures (market, structure, land issues, monetary support); this has been the first time that the issue of agricultural economy is defined.

Ljubic added that another important novelty is formation of two councils – council for research and expert advisory bodies. They will be a part of the FBIH Entity Ministry of agriculture. Aim of the law is to enable implementation of the monitoring system in agricultural sector.

That will be ensured by the formation of agricultural information center, agricultural accountancy, and implementation of a registry office necessary for implementation of the agricultural policy.

The FBIH Entity Government also adopted the Brucellosis Elimination Program in Sheep and Goats in the FBIH.

Ljubic said that the three-year program means that the disease will be systematically eliminated and that all the department institutions will take responsibility in that sense. Entity coordination is also necessary.


OHRID, Macedonia (September 30,2007) – The first session of the CEFTA member countries’ Joint Board was held at the ministerial level in Ohrid,Macedonia.The Bosnian delegation was lead by the Bosnian Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Vilim Primorac.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the European Delegation in Macedonia Erwan Fuere, SE Europe Stability Pact’s Special Coordinator Erhard Busek and the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic.

Some important decisions have been made. The Joint Board’s Rules of Procedure has been adopted; the CEFTA Secretariat mandate has been determined, as well as the way of financing the CEFTA Secretariat.

The Board also passed a decision on formation of three sub boards – for agriculture, for customs and for non-customs barriers, including the technical trade barriers.

The Board members adopted the joint Declaration which welcomes the CEFTA agreement ratification by Bosnia.It was emphasized that such form of regional cooperation is an integral component of the relationship of the EU towards the region and that the future of the Southeastern European countries lies in the EU membership.

The declaration welcomed the initiative of chambers of commerce from the region to organize a Forum of CEFTA 2006 chambers of commerce.

The ministers have obliged to urge their governments to fully cooperate with the RCC, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic relations announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - Thirty eight people, suspected of involvement in smuggling Albanians to western Europe, were arrested by Bosnian,Montenegrin and Croatian police.

Montenegrin Police Administration said that, as part of a coordinated international police action, code-named "Plitvice", eight persons had been arrested in Montenegro, while another suspect was on the run.

Croatia arrested 28 smugglers and Bosnia a further two.There are five suspects still at large, three from Croatia, one from Montenegro and one from Albania.

"This organized smuggling of people from Albania, via Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia to EU countries went on for a long period of time", the police statement said.

Montenegrin police have forwarded the case to the special prosecutor for organized crime.All those arrested are suspected of involvement in a criminal organization, illegal crossing of state borders and the organized smuggling of people.

Two of those detained are also suspected of illegal possession of arms and explosives, as well as forging money.

"During the action Montenegrin police found a quantity of munitions, explosive devices and forged banknotes. Croatian police, in addition, confiscated 6,000 pills of the ecstasy drug", Montenegrin police said.


ILIJAŠ, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - Ilijas Municipality was awarded a certificate for the successful completion of public administration reform, conducted in co-operation with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia.

This makes Ilijas the second municipality in Bosnia to conduct this reform, thus achieving EU standards in local self-governance. Robert Kogler, OSCE Information Officer, handed over the certificate to Ilijas Mayor, Nusret Masic.


LJUBUSKI, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - The Ministry of Interior of the Western Herzegovina Canton, in cooperation with the West Herzegovina Automobile and Motorcycle Club (ZHAMK), organised a series of screenings of educational movies for the first graders of the cantonal elementary schools.

These screenings are part of the Schoolboy on the street campaign, which the Western Herzegovina Canton police have been implementing since the beginning of the new school year.

“Along with the movies, we'll also teach pupils how to safely get to school from home and hand out children-friendly brochures,” said Damir Cutura, Spokesperson for the Cantonal Ministry of Interior.


WASHINGTON, USA (September 30,2007) - Languishing on the US Supreme Court docket is a review of the case of Lakhdar Boumediene et al vs. George W. Bush et al.

The Court is being asked to review the refusal of lower courts to issue writs of habeas corpus for Boumediene and five other Guantanamo prisoners who were imprisoned by the Bosnian government and handed over to United States troops and subsequently shipped to Guantanamo.

In the briefs prepared by the attorneys for the petitioners, led by Seth Waxman, a partner in the firm of Washington-based WilmerHale, the United States government is accused of coercing the Bosnian government into arresting the six Algerian-born men under suspicion of plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The brief also accuses the United States of threatening to cut off diplomatic ties with Bosnia should Bosnian authorities fail to comply.

The six men were arrested in October 2001. After a three-month long investigation involving InterPol, the European Union, and U.S. Embassy officials, the Bosnian courts ordered all six cleared of all charges, and freed them on January 17, 2002. The filing claims they were then seized by Bosnian police and turned over to the U.S. military, and transported to Guantanamo where they have languished ever since.

Five of the six are naturalized Bosnian citizens, while the sixth had acquired permanent residency prior to his arrest. The Bosnian government has since asked for the release and return of all six to Bosnia.

Within the brief lies a transcript of a portion of the tribunal transcript in which one of the six, Ait Idir, attempted to defend himself before the US military tribunal. Musftafa Ait Idir stands accused of "associating with" an unnamed but "known al Qaeda operative."

That colloquy shows that it was virtually impossible for Idir to defend himself, since instead of the tribunal having to prove his guilt, Idir was required to prove his innocence.

According to the brief, the tribunal refused to even give Ait Idir the name of the alleged associate. Ait Idir responded "I asked the interrogators to tell me who this person was. Then I could tell you if I might have known this person, but not if this person is a terrorist. Maybe I knew this person as a friend. Maybe it was a person that worked with me. Maybe it was a person that was on my team. But I do not know if this person is Bosnian, Indian or whatever. If you tell me the name, then I can respond and defend myself against this accusation."

Allegedly, the members of the tribunal burst into laughter at Mr. Ait Idir's frustrated reply.

The other four petitioners are Belkacem Bensayah, Hadj Boudella, Saber Lahmar, and Mohamed Nechla.

A writ of habeas corpus is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, under Article I, Section 9, which states: "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."

The only time in which this right has previously been suspended in the United States was under Executive Order of the US President Abraham Lincoln, who suspended the right during the American Civil War.

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