Balkans | Pressure on Bosnian imams by Serbian officials

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Balkans |  Pressure on Bosnian imams by Serbian officials

An imam in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who spoke about the genocide in Srebrenica in his sermon, faced the risk of imprisonment.

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republika Srpska has launched an investigation against Imam Bihac Muharrem Stolanović, who in a sermon referred to the Republika Srpska entity as “the structure that arose with genocide”.

It was alleged that Stolanović’s remarks harmed the image of Republika Srpska and its people, according to the Penal Code of Republika Srpska.

In his sermon, Stolanović said that during the war, Serb forces systematically massacred Bosniaks, raped women and girls, and plundered and sold property of Bosnians in Serbia. Stolanović criticized the celebration of “January 9 Republika Srpska Day”, which was ruled illegal by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, calling the Republika Srpska entity “the structure that was born with genocide”.

Stolanović’s sermon, which was the subject of investigation, was shared by the Speaker of the People’s Assembly of Republika Srpska, Nenad Stefandić, and was criticized for being “anti-Serb”.

The Islamic Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina condemned the investigation against Stolanović, describing it as an attempt by the Republika Srpska government to silence truth-tellers.

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