The recent arrest of Richmond Park Schools principal Fatih Keskin, a Turkish citizen who was residing in Bosnia for the past 20 years, is part of a “violent and anti-democratic” politically motivated persecution which was ordered from outside and implemented by “servants of a foreign system”, the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) said in a Thursday statement.
The SDP accused the ruling Bosniak party, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), of involvement in the matter.
“Now they are arresting foreign experts, educated individuals who came to Bosnia and Herzegovina to contribute to the education of our youth,” the party said.
Keskin was taken away after speaking to police in the northwestern Una-Sana Canton on Tuesday. According to Richmond Park Schools, he was not allowed to contact his attorney and the next time his family heard from him, he reportedly said he was in the migrant detention centre in Lukavica, near Sarajevo.
The SDP called upon the SDA to publicly distance itself from “this shameful act” and to condemn the arrest of a man “who is, judging by his biography, only a true threat to ignorance and single-mindedness.”
“The SDP BiH wants to clearly and openly emphasise that, in the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, laws, constitutions and rules of foreign countries must not be implemented or imposed, regardless of whether Turkey, Serbia, Croatia or any other country is in question. All of those who submit to the interests of foreign states are the true enemies of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the party said.
“The effective kidnapping of professor Keskin and the baseless labelling of him as a threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina is an act of pure terror with which all of Bosnia's citizens being threatened. We should all ask ourselves who might be the next citizen who will be marked as a threat to the system according to the assessment of the SDA and who could be detained, probed and imprisoned without an indictment or any defence,” it said.
“We call upon the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reveal based on what information and activities they have, after 20 years, concluded that professor Keskin represents a threat to the interests of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” SDP statement stressed.