Serb students and their parents are faced with the harassment by Bosniak politicians and need to be protected, Srebrenica Municipality Head Mladen Grujicic told media on Wednesday, two days after a photo showing students wearing traditional Serb clothes with 'brothers Chetniks' caption above it appeared on social networks, which in turn sparked reactions among Bosniaks who expressed concern over the safety of their children in the school.
The controversial photo of nine students appeared on Monday, when the Srebrenica primary school marked an Orthodox Christian holiday but, as the school principal later explained, the photo was not taken at the official celebration of the Saint Sava Day and the school had nothing to do with it.
The students in the photo were, according to the school, sanctioned for their behaviour.
According to Grujicic, the whole situation was abused by Bosniak politicians who channelled the photo to various media outlets and triggered in that way the rage against the Serb students.
“We had to react, so I called a meeting of parents, the school representatives and political representatives in Srebrenica to take some steps in order to protect the rights of these children and the parents who are, in Srebrenica, in Republika Srpska (Bosnia's Serb-dominated region) faced with the harassment of Bosniak politicians, who misused the situation, entered the school premises today, made an incident and persuaded all students to say they were feeling endangered and that their safety was not satisfying,” said Grujicic, also a Serb representative.
He urged the competent bodies to investigate the whole situation, stressing that the results should show who is manipulating the children.
Grujicic directly accused former municipality head, a Bosniak politician Camil Durakovic, who initially published the information about the controversial photo.
According to Grujicic, Durakovic is trying to “get back on the political stage in a perfidious way.”