Attacks on Muslims Reported in East Bosnia

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 16, 2014
Posted in category Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina
Comments Off on Attacks on Muslims Reported in East Bosnia

The Islamic Community in Tuzla said Muslims in Zvornik, a town in Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, were increasingly the victims of both verbal and physical attacks.

Attacks on Muslims in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik have become more frequent, with many reports of verbal and physical abuses, the Islamic Community in Tuzla said on Wednesday.

“In the urban area of Zvornik in recent times several incidents were reported, which have disturbed Muslims in the town,” the organisation said in a press release.

Some recent incidents reportedly took place in front of the main Rijecanka Mosque in Zvornik where a young Bosniak [Muslim] was allegedly beaten up.

Another recent case involved a murder, when a Serb named Nikola Josic apparently killed 81-year-old Ahmed Hasanovic with an axe following an earlier quarrel in public.

Josic and Hasanovic allegedly argued after the latter refused to receive Easter eggs – a Serb Orthodox greeting – from Josic. The following morning, Hasanovic was found dead in front of his home in Kozluk, near Zvornik.

The Islamic Community in Tuzla also noted other attacks on Muslims in Zvornik recently.

“On May 6, in front of the Rijecanska Mosque, an unknown young man verbally attacked and harassed students of the Behram-bey Madrassa [Islamic high school] from Tuzla who were performong a religious-cultural programme in the Home of Culture,” it said.

The same report said the Muslim cemetery in Zvornik’s main mosque was recently damaged after eggs were thrown at tombstones.

The statement said that the Islamic Community “condemns these incidents which create unrest among Muslims in Zvornik… about their security in their town”.

Last year, 73-year-old Nezir Dardagan was among four Muslims attacked by young Serbs in Zvornik while they were on their way to a mosque to pray on the Eid religious holiday.

The pensioner suffered facial injuries when three young Serb men attacked the group. They attackers allegedly demanded that the Muslims offer them an Orthodox Christian greeting.

Zvornik is one of several formerly Muslim-dominated towns in eastern Bosnia that saw shocking levels of violence, murder and ethnic cleansing after Bosnian Serb forces overran them during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Only a minority of Muslims have returned to their pre-war homes, as a result of which the eastern towns are now majority-Serbian.

“It is worrying that these events [attacks on Muslims] are being repeated at a time when Bosniaks from these areas are remembering their loved ones who suffered in the bloody war and when they will gracefully and peacefully bury the remains of victims from Zvornik,” the Islamic Community said.

It urged the authorities in the mainly Serbian entity to prevent further incidents among returnees and assure their security.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.