Monday, October 20, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 20,2008) — Amnesty International, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia, and Human Rights Watch called upon Bosnian authorities in Bosnia not to deport Imad Al Husein (also known as Abu Hamza al-Suri, his nom de guerre).He participated in the defence of Bosnia from the genocidal Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian fascist aggressors in the 1990's,and who is now detained by some criminals within the Bosnian government and may face deportation to Syria.

The organizations say that he should be freed from immigration detention immediately.

On October 6, 2008, the Bosnian authorities seized Al Husein in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and placed him in the Lukavica immigration detention center, pending possible deportation to Syria. Al Husein is on a hunger strike to protest his confinement and pending deportation.

“The authorities of Bosnia should act in accordance with the rule of law,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International. “Any measures taken should comply with the international obligations Bosnia has taken upon itself to respect.”

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has also warned Bosnia against deporting Al Husein before it has had an opportunity to consider his appeal to that body.

There is no current legal basis for detaining Al Husein. The deportation proceedings against him have been voided pending his hearing for asylum or a temporary residence permit. He is an unlikely flight risk due to his family situation and has complied with regular reporting requirements with the Bosnian State Agency for Foreigners.

“Bosnia should stop its illegal deportation proceedings against Imad Al Husein immediately and set him free,” said Ben Ward, Associate Director of the Europe & Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch.

It is believed that between 2,000 and 5,000 foreign fighters came to the country during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions ahainst Bosnia. Most of them left after the war, but a few hundred married Bosnian women, had families and remained in Bosnia.Abu Hamza is one of them.

He obtained Bosnian citizenship in 1994 but some criminals within the Bosnian government, claiming "he posed a threat to national security", revoked it in 2001.

Foreign and domestic Christian fundamentalist media has speculated that Abu Hamza may have been linked to al Qaeda - though none of those claims and accusations were backed up by any evidence.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 20,2008) – According to the Bosnian National Banking Association the loans of the Bosnian commercial banks totalled 14.5 billion Bosnian Marks as of June 30, 2008, which was by almost 2 billion Bosnian Marks more compared to the end of 2007.

The retail sector accounted for 6.3 billion Bosnian Marks of that sum, whereas the remainder was borrowed by the corporate sector. Since late 2007, the debt of the Bosnian citizens increased by 700 million Bosnian Marks.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 20,2008) – OSCE parliamentarians are in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo today to visit the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and observe the implementation of the Mission's mandate, including its work to combat human trafficking.

Tomorrow, the delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will participate in a roundtable discussion with members of the Bosnian State Parliament on "Eradicating human trafficking as a political priority".

The OSCE's Special Representative and Co-ordinator on Human Trafficking, Eva Biaudet, will join the delegation to contribute her expertise on the issue and to enhance awareness of the role that parliamentarians play in the fight against human trafficking.

The OSCE Parliamentary Delegation is led by Robert Battelli, Special Representative of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President on South-Eastern Europe, who will also chair the inter-parliamentary discussion.

Ilija Filipovic, First Deputy Speaker of the Bosnian State Parliament's House of People, will open the event, and Biaudet will discuss the role of parliaments in the fight against human trafficking. Other speakers include Branko Zrno, Head of the Bosnian Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and Ambassador Vadim Kuznetsov, Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press, and fair elections.

The OSCE is an ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter (Chap. VIII), and is concerned with early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. Its 56 participating States are from Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North America and cover most of the northern hemisphere. It was created during the Cold War era as an East-West forum.