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The municipal authorities of Prijedor are not prepared to allow the former concentration camp detainees of Omarska concentration camp to visit that location on May 9th.

The Mayor of Prijedor Marko Pavic considers this to be a “very sensitive date, since the Day of Europe and the Victory Day over Fascism are celebrated on May 9th, and the commemoration and visit to the location of the former concentration camp could lead to serious consequences”.

Pavic stated that he does not support the “political gathering” that the Association of Concentration Camp Detainees in Bosnia and Herzegovina has announced for May 9th in Omarska, claiming that “the organizers of the gathering have bad intentions towards Prijedor and that this is contrary to everything which does good to this city”.

 “Association of Concentration Camp Detainees in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still not giving up on the political gathering that they have scheduled for May 9th. Once again I would like to emphasize that the Victory Day over Fascism is not an appropriate day for holding such a manifestation except if the organizer of the gathering has some kind of connection with those who had plundered Europe 60 years ago”, reads Pavic’s statement.

He also bring forwards the claim that such gathering would represent the “taking back of the national, religious and all other relations to some previous times, which is contrary to the deliberation of the citizens of Prijedor to build a better future and prosperous municipality”.

“This is a well-known action of the people who come to Prijedor to spill out their indignation or hatred on a territory and then depart, leaving the sown evil seed for us to struggle with afterwards trying to overcome it”, says Pavic and adds that he and “most of the citizens of Prijedor” are against holding such gathering, and that he expects that those responsible for this field shall act in line with that attitude.

“Let the organizers, and also those giving their consent, go just three days back and remember the Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo (a.k.a. Sarajevo column case; note by translator) where it was again not possible to reach the very crime scene but only the start of the street, and the same ones who banned the gathering in Dobrovoljacka Street now want to make a political gathering on the territory of our municipality”, stated the Mayor of Prijedor.

The local Federation of Veterans Associations of the People’s Liberation War of Yugoslavia, as well as veterans’ associations, have addressed an open letter to the “Arcelor Mittal Prijedor” mine and to the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Srpska, in which they say that it is “inappropriate and inopportune that the day, which is celebrated in the whole of liberal Europe as the day of victory over fascism, is taken as the Day of Concentration Camp Detainees of Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

They say that they are not against visiting of the location where the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina perished in the past war, but that they are for it to be in the same relation and in the same way, and it would be especially good if it be regulated by legal acts as well.

The Association of Concentration Camp Detainees in Bosnia and Herzegovina intends to commemorate the 9th of May as the Day of Concentration Camp Detainees of Bosnia and Herzegovina by visiting the monument to the perished citizens of Kozarac, and also by visiting Omarska afterwards where it is envisaged to have the addresses by the members of the Association, as well as by the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic and Bakir Izetbegovic.

Approval for this gathering was requested from the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Srpska, and also from the “Arcelor Mittal Prijedor” mine which has bought through privatization the buildings of the former concentration camp as well.

Several thousand of detainees have passed through “Omarska”, out of which several hundred were killed in 1992.  

(Source: Federal News Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FENA))

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05/05/2011 22:33