City: Doboj

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12. March 2020.
Courts in Trebinje and Bijeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina have rejected pleas to ban Serb nationalist Chetnik associations for allegedly inciting ethnic hatred and intolerance.

The Basic Courts in Trebinje and Bijeljina told BIRN that they have turned down requests to ban associations whose names contain the words ‘Chetnik Movement’ or ‘Ravna Gora Movement’.

The plea was “rejected as unfounded”, said Jelica Ijacic, the secretary at Trebinje Basic Court.

The Sarajevo Canton justice ministry sent requests last year to courts in the towns of Banja Luka, Doboj, Bijeljina, Sokolac and Trebinje to ban the Chetnik associations on the grounds that they provoke ethnic, racial or religious hatred and discord and intolerance.

The plea for a ban was submitted following a controversial commemoration in Visegrad in March 2019 of Dragoljub ‘Draza’ Mihailovic, the WWII leader of the Serb nationalist Chetnik movement.

The courts in Doboj and Sokolac have also rejected the request, BIRN was told in January, while the Banja Luka court has not yet made a decision.

After the Mihailovic commemoration, the Bosnian state prosecution opened a case to examine whether the incident had provoked hatred and intolerance. The probe is still ongoing.

This year’s Chetnik event to celebrate Mihailovic, which had been scheduled for Friday this week, has been postponed because the authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity imposed measures to ban public gatherings as part of attempts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The president of the Republika Srpska Ravna Gora Movement, Dusan Sladojevic, insisted that the organisation did not promote hatred or intolerance.

“We have the honourable idea of correcting inaccurate history and seeing how to proceed through the catharsis of truth,” Sladojevic told BIRN.

He also insisted that “uncle Draza’s army was never criminal”.

Chetnik leader Mihailovic was sentenced to death in 1946 for high treason and collaboration with Nazi Germany, but rehabilitated in 2015 by a Belgrade court. During WWII, his forces committed large-scale war crimes, including crimes against Bosniaks in Visegrad.

There was controversy on Orthodox Christmas Eve in January when the Ravna Gora Association in Visegrad organised a convoy of cars that drove noisily through the town, blaring Serbian songs, sparking fear among Bosniaks who fled during the war but have since returned.

The state prosecution opened a case to probe the incident and similar Serb celebrations in Srebrenica and Bratunac the same evening.


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25. October 2018.

The Bosnian court’s appeals chamber upheld the acquittal of former Bosnian Serb Army serviceman Djordje Simic, clearing him of killing a Bosniak man in the village of Sevarlije in 1992.

The Bosnian state court’s appeals chamber on Thursday confirmed the first-instance verdict which acquitted Djordje Simic of crimes against humanity in the village of Sevarlije, near the town of Doboj, in 1992.

Under the first-instance verdict passed down in April this year, former Bosnian Serb soldier Simic was found not guilty seizing the Bosniak man from a field in Sevarlije to a military barracks on June 12, 1992.

The man has been missing ever since, and his body has not been found, but the first-instance verdict ruled that the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Simic killed him.

The prosecution launched an appeal against the acquittal verdict but the appeals chamber rejected it as unfounded.

Thursday’s verdict cannot be appealed.


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31. May 2018.

Former Serbian State Security Service official Franko Simatovic’s lawyer told the UN court that the service had nothing to do with wartime violence in Bosnian municipalities which Serb forces took over in spring 1992. Franko Simatovic’s defence lawyer told the Mechanism for International Tribunals in The Hague on Thursday that the Serbian State Security Service “had no connection with municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly Doboj, in terms of sending manpower or equipment” in spring 1992 when crimes were committed.


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29. May 2018.

An ex-member of the Red Berets unit told the retrial of former Serbian security service chiefs Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic that the unit persecuted and murdered Bosniaks in the Doboj area in 1992. A protected prosecution witness told Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic’s retrial at the Mechanism for International Tribunals in The Hague on Tuesday that the Red Berets unit expelled, killed and tortured Bosniaks in and around Doboj in Bosnia in May 1992.


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10. April 2018.

A Sarajevo court found former Bosnian Serb Army serviceman Djordje Simic not guilty of crimes against humanity, clearing him of killing a Bosniak man in the village of Sevarlije in 1992. The state court in Sarajevo found Djordje Simic not guilty on Tuesday, ruling that the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that he killed the Bosniak man after seizing him from a field in Sevarlije, near the town of Doboj, on June 12, 1992.