Honorable Valentin Inzko
Office of the High Representative (OHR)
Erika Blum 1 71 000 Sarajevo
Tel: 387 33283500
Fax: 387 33 283 501
Honorable Representative Inzko,
On behalf of Bosniaks in North America, Australia, and the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing we are writing to you as the ultimate authority accountable for the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement to prevent the legislative violations of human rights of Bosniaks in Diaspora regarding the census of population and property taxation in smaller entities. The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB), Institute for Research of Genocide Canada (IRGC), Bosnian American Institute for Genocide and Education (BAGI) Council of B&H Organizations of Australia strongly condemn the adoption of an amendment to remove article 48 of the proposed law on census of population and households, in B&H by the Joint Commission for Economic reform and Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Article 48 contained the important condition that the results of the ethnic structure of the population census of 1990 years be used in the formation of government until the full implementation of the Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement, or until the completion of the return of refugees and displaced persons. This act represents a de facto legalization of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide that was committed against Bosniaks between 1992 and 1995. Annex VII of the Dayton agreement is still largely ignored by politicians in B&H and the international community, including the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which marks the destruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the violation of basic human rights of returnees.
Mr. Inzko, we request from your office concrete steps to prevent the removal of article 48. Continued obstruction of Annex VII by the RS representatives lacks basic security and economic conditions for the return of Bosniaks to their estates in the Republic of Serbia which further means that the Dayton agreement is broken and the census, households and housing in Bosnia and Herzegovina can’t be implemented.
In this case, we ask you to protect the rights of displaced B&H citizens, from the actions of the representatives of the RS and the Bosniak representatives in Parliament, which due to petty political interests, compromised the return of displaced Bosniaks in the RS and their human rights in the territory of B&H. Removal of Article 48 reminds us of the war period when the victims of the genocide and aggression when Serbian troops forced the Bosniaks to forfeit property. The aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina continues by political methods, while the representatives of the Bosniaks in BiH knowingly waive Bosniaks and Bosniak assets in the RS in favor of their political positions in the Federation.
We also ask from your Office to stop the anti-Dayton actions by the RS representatives regarding property taxation of Bosniaks in RS. The RS authorities used the current situation in which there is no common law on the entire territory of B&H on the taxation of property. They are abusing the legal and abusing this legal provision by not using the same tax rate for people living in the territory of small entities and for those individuals who have assets in the RS reside outside of the entity. Taking into account the geographical distance of the displaced Bosniaks in Diaspora, and the culture of bribery and corruption among the officials, the legal owners of property in the RS are victims of a fait accompli that prevents them from holding onto their property, which had already once been abducted during the aggression and genocide during the 1990s. This political administrative method of completing the genocide is only possible because B&H and its state institutions do not have the proper authority in the smaller entity, and the leaders of the same consistently obstruct their work to prevent the state and all other bodies from establishing the normal functioning of the executive authorities with the aim of Euro-Atlantic integration in the NATO and the EU.
Because of political stagnation and incompetence of Bosniak politicians in B&H, the only hope for displaced Bosniaks is the Office of the High Representative, which has unfortunately been weakened over the last few years due to lack of international involvement and support. We ask you to stop this aggression against the expelled Bosniaks and to take all the steps, including the Bonn Powers, to prevent further aggression and ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks in the RS.
Haris Alibašić, President CBNA
Emir Ramić, Director, IRGC
Sanja Drnovšek, Director BAGI
Senada Softić-Telalović, President BHOA