By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo
More than 50 members of the Association of Youth of the Party for Democratic Action (SDA) gathered this morning in front of the building of the BiH institution in Sarajevo in order to express their dissatisfaction for the proposal for an amendment to the Law on Residence in BiH.
They wanted to address attention to delegates in the BiH House of Peoples in the BiH Parliament that the adoption of the draft amendment to the Law would have disastrous consequences for returnees, especially in the RS.
The SDA Youth Association emphasized that as a result of the genocide and other war crimes, that people who were forced out of the RS would lose their rights to have registered residence in the place where they lived before the war if unannounced controls of the Ministry of Interior of the RS do not find them at the registered address.
Several gathered together with banners that read ‘half a state for two chairs’, ‘Law for ethnic cleansing’, and adding that they came to express their disagreement with ‘this miserable law’.
They think that the delegates in the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliament should not allow the entity ministries of internal affairs to control the residence of returnees.
“We are surprised by politicians from the FBiH, especially the Alliance for a Better Future (SBB) BiH and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). We do not expect delegates from the RS to do something regarding this issue, but we expect support from the FBiH delegates. This draft amendment is the selling of land of BIH and this is the continuation and support of genocide from 1992-1995’’, said Armin Gabel, the Vice-President of the SDA Youth Association.
Mayor of the Sarajevo municipality Novi Grad Semir Efendić gave support to the peaceful protest.
“Representatives from the FBiH will support the initiative of their colleagues from the RS on amendments to this Law that is in fact a law on ethnic cleansing. This law would prevent people from having a registered address where they were born, because they might not live in that place all the time’’, said Efendić.
He noted that a bill banning the denial of genocide in BiH was placed on the daily agenda of the BiH Parliament at least ten times, and added that ‘’every time this law was shot down by RS delegates, and so we came to terms with the fact that we do not have this law’’.
Efendić thinks that this is a retrograde process for BiH, and stated that there were laws that have facilitated return and the “law on residence of BiH citizens would certainly make return difficult”.
He expressed hope that the proposal to revise this law would not be accepted by the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliament at today’s session because it is ‘harmful for the country’.
After the three-hour protest, the crowd dispersed peacefully.
At today’s session of the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliament, delegates are expected to, among other things, consider the request of the BiH Council of Ministers to immediately consider draft laws on the following amendments: Law on BiH Citizenship, Law on Residence of Citizens of BiH, and the Law on BiH Travel Documents.
The proposed law is a matter of urgency, and therefore without possibility of any changes, adopted by the House of Representatives.