Sarajevans protest after migrants allegedly killed a local young man

NEWS 18.11.2020 15:56
Source: N1

Authorities must urgently do something to protect citizens from the numerous migrants who are roaming the city, locals who gathered in Sarajevo’s Ilidza neighbourhood on Wednesday demanded during a protest that came after the murder of a young local man the evening before, allegedly committed by migrants.

Three unidentified migrants are suspected of killing the young man and injuring two others in a brawl that took place in Sarajevo's Ilidza neighbourhood on Tuesday evening.

A manhunt is underway.


“If money was taken (from the EU) for taking care of these migrants, it should be used for some normal purposes, and not for God knows what. This has become unbearable. I feel sorry for the youth. The youth suffers every day, this is not the first case,” said Izeta, one of the locals.

“If we and our leaders don't do something about it – we are done,” she stressed.

Izeta told N1 that she often travels between the suburbs of Hadzici and Ilidza and comes across migrants on the way. She said that she has not yet experienced a physical attack from them but that they behave in an intimidating way.

Another local at the protest, Faris, argued that “life values” and Bosnia’s constitutional order are threatened by the situation.

“We had them committing misdemeanours before, now they are committing serious crimes,” he said.

Bosnia’s Constitution guarantees basic human rights, but those are now threatened due to fear, he said.

“Can anyone today let their child go outside without thinking about whether it will arrive where it is supposed to? Rights are guaranteed for every individual, no one is allowed to violate them. This gathering is out of extreme necessity, it has become too much for people,” he told N1.

Muriz Memic, the father of a young man who lost his life in suspicious circumstances in the same neighbourhood in 2016 – a high-profile case which remains unresolved – argued that “migrants also pass through other countries but they don’t kill people.”

“That only happens here. The state failed, the Security Ministry, previous minister and the current one are not capable of tackling this. We are a country that is unsafe to live in,” he said.

Nermin Muzur, who was elected mayor of Ilidza on Sunday, also attended the gathering. He said that it has become “impossible” to maintain control over the movement of the migrants in Ilidza and other similar locations.

Muzur argued that there must be a way to “search the whole of Ilidza and introduce concrete measures to stop their movement as it is and put it under control,” arguing that the migrant centre in the nearby Blazuj suburb must be put under control and that the number of migrants staying there must be reduced.

Canton Sarajevo (KS) Assembly member, Dzevad Poturak, said that the gathering is supposed to be a message to authorities to “remove migrants from our streets and, finally, from our country.”

“We no longer care about where these people are from. We help them, and they repay us by killing our neighbour, brother, friend. I'm just wondering who will be next? You, your neighbour, brother, sister, or me?” Poturak said.

Citizens are not protected and the migrants they encounter move through the city without identification documents and lie about their identity, he said.

“We keep showing them respect because they are supposedly refugees, but after this happened last night (…) This is devastating, this has to be resolved urgently!” he stressed.

According to the spokesperson of the Sarajevo Canton Interior Ministry, Mirza Hadziabdic, “there is not enough room in migrant centres in KS” to accommodate all the migrants.

“The police is doing all it can in accordance with its competencies. Due to the limited capacities in the centres and the migrant crisis, which has escalated, we have a certain number of migrants who are on the streets of KS,” he said.

In some cases, migrants are taken back to migrant centres “but then you encounter those same ones on the street,” Hadziabdic said, adding that this is the third murder case involving suspects who are migrants in KS this year and that in the other two the perpetrators were arrested.

Bosnia’s Security Minister, Selmo Cikotic, said on Wednesday that he offered the KS Interior Ministry help from state-level agencies in the search for the perpetrators.