Monday, November 12, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – "If Bosnia wishes to move in the direction of European Union it needs to find a solution by itself, and this is where the largest responsibility of the politicians of this country lies," a member of the delegation of the European Parliament’s Sub-Commission for Defence and Security Mihael Brejc stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

“We are under the impression that matters could deteriorate and we have therefore prepared a report for the European Parliament so that we can find the right means to help Bosnia move faster towards European Union and join it”, Brejc said.

Brejc, a member of the Slovenian delegation to the European Parliament, stressed that Slovenia has given priority to processes in the Southeastern Europe and the faster accession of the region to European structures.

“Our presidency of the EU will work very intensively on that and we shall demand in European institutions that these difficult issues be put on the table, that they be discussed and resolved. I am deeply confidence that Bosnia has enough energy to overcome these difficulties and to join the process of EU integration as soon as possible”, Brejc said.

He described the security situation in Bosnia as good, but “not good enough to make a step forward”.

The Bosnian constitution and police reform are issues that are constantly on the agenda, he said.

“Until these issues are resolved it will be difficult to move forward”, he said.


TUZLA, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – Women of Srebrenica protested yesterday in the eastern Bosnian city of Tuzla by a peaceful walk through the Tuzla city centre, commemorating the victims of genocide from Srebrenica.

The genocide in Bosnia has been the bloodiest genocide Europe has seen after the WWII. 42.000 Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica, the so-called UN-protected zone were betrayed by the United Nations and handed over to the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

10,000 Bosnian civilians were mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia

Mothers, sisters and wives of the genocide victims reminded the public of this bloody event in which most of the international organizations starting with the UN, EU and most of the other western countries played a shameful role.

Women of Srebrenica were not alone in their pain. They were joined and supported by pupils and teachers from Kakanj and by the Zemzem NGO representatives from Slovenia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – Housing policies at all levels in Bosnia need to be harmonised with the needs and demands of socially threatened categories, and the state needs to develop a common strategy of approach to housing. This was stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo at the conference “Defining basics of the housing strategy in Bosnia, including the policy of taking care of the housing needs of socially threatened categories”.

The Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, together with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and UNDP organised the conference.

Accessibility of the right to housing for socially threatened categories is in most cases guaranteed by international and domestic rights, but for many persons there are often numerous obstacles in exercising these rights.

The Bosnian Human Rights and Refugees Minister Safet Halilovic said that ensuring access to adequate housing is a challenge faced not only transition countries, but also all countries in Europe. This especially concerns the availability of the right to housing for socially threatened categories.

He said that an adequate legal framework needs to be created, as well as an appropriate institutional structure, and that housing policies that will ensure a non-discriminatory access to housing for all categories also need to be adopted.

“Persons who are socially threatened, as well as those with special needs, need to have specific assistance so that their specific requirements for housing are satisfied”, Halilovic said.

Head of the OSCE Human Rights Department James Rodehaver stressed that taking care of the housing needs of socially threatened categories is a priority issue that needs to be addressed.

He underlined that a comprehensive housing strategy needs to integrate for the first time diverse policies and programs that exist at the local level and ensure a more balanced approach to activities concerning the housing needs of socially threatened categories.

The OSCE Mission has prepared draft guidelines for the development of the housing policy for taking care of the housing needs of socially threatened categories based on human rights in order to help the Bosnian government so that the policy of taking care of housing needs is in accordance with international laws and human rights standards.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Stefan Priesner said that the allocation of apartments for socially threatened categories of the population is important for the exercise of human rights.

The development of an appropriate policy and strategy for taking care of the housing needs will prevent social exclusion of these categories and reduce poverty.

Priesner concluded that it is necessary to harmonise standards in this field at all levels in Bosnia, and that attention especially needs to be dedicated to defining priorities in this field, as well as target groups.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – The issue of independence and responsibility of the judiciary in the strategy of reforming the justice sector was the main topic of the conference organised in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) as part of the Justice Sector Development Project, which is being implemented with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Participants in the conference – judicial workers and representatives of the legislative and executive authorities in Bosnia – have discussed the basic points of the Draft Strategy for Reforming the Justice Sector in BiH 2008-2012, which includes the key priorities of future reform steps and represents a framework for directing donors’ funds intended for the justice sector.

HJPC President Branko Peric said in the opening part of the conference that justice reform in Bosnia received a positive assessment in the European Commission’s Report on progress in Bosnia for 2007.

Peric reminded that the European Commission’s report has clearly stressed the need for the adoption of a state strategy in the justice sector as an important element on the road towards European structures.

The Bosnian Deputy Minister of Justice Srdan Arnaut also stressed the importance of a planned and systematic approach to justice reform. He reminded that changes to the Bosnian Constitution are a priority in this respect and that the structure and role of judicial institutions in Bosnia need to be defined within the framework of those changes.

He underlined the importance of cooperation between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities in Bosnia on creating conditions for full independence, but also the responsibility of the judiciary, i.e. the holders of judicial office.

The Bosnian House of Representatives’ Constitutional Legal Commission Chair Sefik Dzaferovic underlined the importance of upcoming constitutional reform, especially in the context of creating a constitutional framework which will additionally strengthen the independence and responsibility of the BiH judiciary and facilitate the harmonisation of judicial practice through the establishment of a supreme justice institution in Bosnia (the Bosnian Supreme Court).

The conference represents the final phase in the public debate on the Draft Strategy for Reforming the Justice Sector in Bosnia, which is a result of broad consultations of all segments involved in justice reform in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) – The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic and representatives of the Bosnian Army met with a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee for Security and Defence in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

They discussed upcoming reform of the Bosnian Constitution, the security situation in Bosnia and the region and results achieved in the Bosnian defence reform process.

Cikotic informed his guests about the process of defence reform in Bosnia and underlined the importance of its success for the aspirations of Bosnia to join NATO.

European Parliament member Mihael Brejc headed the delegation of the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee for Security and Defence. He expressed satisfaction with defence reform and gave full support for the road of Bosnia towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.

The two sides stressed the need for better cooperation between the Bosnian Ministry of Defence and the European Parliament and agreed future forms of cooperation.


BELGRADE, Serbia (November 12,2007) – Genocidal Serbia has raised an indictment against Bosnian citizen Ilija Jurišić.The Serbian State Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said that an indictment has been raised against former Tuzla Municipal Council Chair Ilija Jurišić for participation in the “Tuzla column” case.

Ilija Jurišić is a Bosnian patriot who participated in defending the Bosnian city of Tuzla from the Serbian aggressor,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggresion against Bosnia.Jurišić has been arrested by the Serbian aggressor and has been in a prison in Belgrade since 11 May 2007.

Vukcevic said that the Serbian State Prosecutor’s Office has weighed the evidence against Bosnian citizen Ilija Jurišić and established that there is enough ground for raising an indictment against him.

The indictment charges Jurišić with the use of prohibited means of combat during the attack on a JNA column in the eastern Bosnian town of Tuzla on May 15 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

This case is also known as "the Tuzla Column".The Serbian aggressor, with the active participation of so called "Yugoslav People’s Army" (JNA) forces, seized about 70 per cent of Bosnia in the first few weeks of the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.JNA was totally controlled by Serbia and the role of the JNA in the early stages of the war was very important.

In May 1992,the JNA troops came under attack by the Bosnian Army as they were withdrawing from the Bosnian city of Tuzla.Up to 200 Serbian aggressor's soldiers were reportedly killed and 140 Serbian aggressor's soldiers were taken prisoners by the Bosnian Army.


MOSTAR, Bosnia (November 12,2007) - Eight people, including seven policemen, were injured and cars were smashed when fans of rival football teams clashed in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar, the Bosnian police said yesterday.

The injuries occurred on Saturday in the western part of the town, the night before a match between F.C. Velez and F.C. Zrinjski, police spokesman Srecko Bosnjak said.

"One man sustained serious injuries to the head and seven policemen were injured while trying to separate the crowd who hurled rocks at each other and smashed two police vehicles," he said.He declined to say what sparked the incident.

Twelve people were detained for questioning and an investigation was under way, Bosnjak said.Trouble continued on Sunday when Zrinjski fans pelted a bus taking Velez fans with stones and bottles. Riot police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, Bosnjak said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 12,2007) - Australian designer Leesa Fogarty has received rave reviews for her latest MaraJoara swimwear collection at Sarajevo Fashion Week.

The Sydney based designer was featured as a VIP Guest Designer at the showcase of eastern European fashion this week. The parade featured three Miss World Bosnia's, the FTV Model of the World and Bosnia top models.

Fogarty caused controversy last year when she refused to sack MaraJoara’s size 8 to 12 models after allegedly being told by Australian Fashion Week organisers the girls were "too fat" for the catwalk.

While one fashion magazine deleted their coverage of the MaraJoara show, Fogarty's decision received international applause for promoting a healty body image. Fogarty was quickly inundated with fan mail from the Austrlain public, letters from buyers demanding to stock the range and invitations to Fashion Week parades around the world.