Renowned Bosnian film director Jasmila Zbanic reported to police in Sarajevo that she received death threats on a Facebook post of a Sarajevo Canton Assembly member, Haris Zahiragic, because she publicly requested a list of the names of children killed in Sarajevo during the wartime siege of the city.
She stated that she is asking for it in order to determine the exact number that is being speculated on after psychologist and social commentator Srdjan Puhalo raised the issue, questioning the number of 1,601 which is often presented.
Sarajevo Assembly member Haris Zahiragic reacted to her request on his official Facebook page, strongly criticising the film director, as well as Puhalo, political analyst Ivana Maric and the Director of the Sarajevo-based War Childhood Museum, Jasminko Halilovic, for asking that question at all.
A large number of people commented on his Facebook post, insulting Zbanic, as well as Halilovic, Puhalo and Maric.
In her report to Sarajevo police, Zbanic noted that Zahragic put her name and picture “in a false context” and “used his lies to provoke a mob” calling for her persecution. She submitted two screenshots showing that certain individuals called for her murder, adding “I feel that my safety is at stake!”
Zbanic told N1 that death threats followed when she asked for the truth to be established about how many children were killed in Sarajevo.
“It seems that an unproven number of victims have been used in public for years,” she said, arguing that as soon as anyone asks for a number that is proven to be presented, “it exposes a wave of anger from those who do not agree with the fact that the truth is important to us.”
“The most terrible thing is that this incitement comes from the MPs in the Sarajevo Canton, who abuse the manipulation of war traumas of the victims. His actions are dangerous. He has a huge mass of followers who, instead of the truth about the number of killed youth and the future of Sarajevo, demand my liquidation and expulsion from BiH,” she stressed.
“I hope that the citizens will understand that without established facts and exact names, this crime remains a subject of competition and exploitation for pre-election purposes. Every child killed deserves her or his name to be known, as well as exactly how they were killed and who killed them!” she added.