Šarčević case – The right to life and to freedom of expression have no alternative

Press release from a section of the membership of the P.E.N. Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina

We, the undersigned members of the PEN Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, unconditionally condemn the attacks on Franja Šarčević, assistant professor at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Sarajevo and editor of the Prometej.ba portal. In the attacks on him, through the media and social networks, and even by the holders of electoral positions, hatred, persecution and physical confrontation with Šarčević were openly invoked.

We demand that the competent authorities determine the degree and type of responsibility from the domain of criminal and misdemeanor legislation in the specific case. We ask the competent authorities to investigate and sanction all cases of violations of the law and the code of the media and the journalistic profession in the context of the position of BH Journalists Association , which requested an immediate investigation and sanctioning media in this case, which was joined by other professional journalist associations from the region, which operate within the SafeJournalists network. (https://safejournalists.net/portfolios/safejournalists-hitno-istraziti-i-sankcionirati-pretnje-udreniku-portala-prometei-u-bosni-i-hercegovini/?lang=hr).

We call on all power holders to use the position they hold and the political power they have to condemn such behavior, stop it and do everything to prevent possible new cases, and those who are directly involved in such actions to exclude themselves and stop such practice. Attack on our colleague Sarčević is not the only one nor is lonely case. It has become established as normal behavior and completely permissible. The authorities at all levels must be aware that they are responsible to the people and that they should and MUST be exposed to the criticism of public opinion. Such practices and behaviors, especially when it comes to cases where power holders commit, encourage, approve, and/or cover up such behaviors, must be stopped and sanctioned. We, the undersigned members of the PEN Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stand behind this announcement. , signed with their first and last name.

We believe that we have every human and professional obligation to react and protect in all cases when someone’s fundamental rights are threatened, including in this one. We believe that it will not happen soon, mazbe not at all, that “a dead head will fall” so that then we will have a case on which we will be able to agree unanimously, appealing in vain post festum and post mortem for the protection of the right to life and freedom of speech and expression.

We are of the opinion that every citizen of this country has the right and obligation to criticize everything that is wrong in the country and not exclusively within their own ethno-national corpus. The practice according to which only “one’s own” can criticize “one’s own” must be stopped and must not be the cause and reason that targets are drawn on the back and nooses are put around the neck of those who peek “into another’s yard”. Sarajevo, 9.3.2024.

Ramiz Huremagić,

Stipe Odak,

Dragan Bursać,

Selma Raljević,

Mihaela Šumić,

Tanja Stupar Trifunović,

Branislav Mikulić,

Enver Kazaz,

Ivan Radeljković,

Alida Bremer,

Sanja Šoštarić,

Jasmin Duraković,

Šuhreta Šura Dumanić,

Tijana Okić,

Almin Kaplan,

Darija Žilić,

Fedor Marjanović,

Selvedin Avdić,

Nenad Rizvanović,

Danijela Majstorović,

Lana Bastašić,

Nerzuk Ćurak,

Emina Žuna,

Almir Alić,

Nidžara Ahmetašević,

Antonije Nino Žalica,

Asmir Kujović,

Lamija Begagić,

Elvedin Nezirović,

Lejla Kalamujić,

Faiz Softić,

Goran Simić.

Cource: P.E.N. Centar in BiH


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