Opposition MP in the parliament of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Nebojsa Vukanovic, was released from custody hours after he was detained for “disturbing public order” on Monday as locals gathered in front of the police station in the southern town of Trebinje, expressing support for the lawmaker.
Vukanovic, a member of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) and fierce critic of the RS Government, was taken away by police as he recorded officials entering the Palace of Justice in Trebinje and stopped them to ask questions.
The RS Interior Ministry said that he “insulted” judicial officials and “refused to act according to a lawful order by police officers.”
“If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government,” Vukanovic said after he was released, arguing that he was detained because he “stood up to the mafia.”
He called the judicial officials he recorded “criminals,” arguing that they are responsible for the “destruction of this city” and that he wanted to tell them this personally.
While Vukanovic was in custody, numerous citizens, including SDS leader, Mirko Sarovic, gathered in front of the police station demanding his release.
“The government does not arrest those who spread arson and destroy cars and facilities of honest citizens, and they arrest MPs,” said Sarovic, emphasizing that Nebojsa Vukanovic is one of the MPs in the RS National Assembly who stood out because of his work.
Other opposition parties in the RS, including the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), and the Democratic People's Alliance (DNS), also expressed support for Vukanovic.