Bosnia's House of Peoples fails to condemn the Chetnik Visegrad gathering

NEWS 13.03.2019 13:11
Source: N1

The strongest parties representing Bosnian Croats and Serbs in the State Parliament's upper house rejected on Wednesday to support an initiative to condemn the controversial Chetnik gathering which took place last weekend in the eastern town of Visegrad.

“I am a bit shocked and I find it disappointing,” said Zlatko Miletic, a delegate of the left-leaning Democratic Front (DF) and proponent of the initiative in the House of Peoples, which did not make it to the session agenda.

The proposal did not get votes of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and the Serb Democratic Party (SDS).

The Sunday gathering of the Serbian nationalist Chetnik movement triggered strong reactions among the local and international officials in Bosnia. 

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Hundreds of sympathisers gathered to pay tribute to the WWII Chetnik leader Draza Mihailovic, who was convicted and executed in 1946 by the then authorities for the war crimes and treason he was charged with.

During the 1992-95 Bosnian war, the Serb nationalist wearing Chetnik insignia expelled thousands and killed hundreds of ethnic Muslims in Visegrad. Last Sunday, those who attended the gathering sang the songs that glorified atrocities and announced new ones, which outraged the Bosniak returnees in the town.

“I believe that the House of Peoples was obliged in line with the Constitution to condemn one such event,” said Miletic, adding that “we missed an opportunity and it is a shame we didn't declare on it and called it the right name, which is fascism.”

Miletic explained that, according to Bosnia's Criminal Code, the participants of the Sunday event breached the law's Article 145, triggering the religious, racial and national hatred.