Published on avaz.ba on 20 February.
Police Interrogate Everyone Who Talks About Injustice
Even demonstrators in Zavidovići feel the pressure.
As of yesterday, more than 3,000 Zavidovići residents had signed a petition calling on all levels of government to meet the demands that have been aired at protests held over the past week or so. The protests are continuing despite the fact that the government and police are trying to stifle them by any means possible.
“After my statement to ‘Avaz,’ I have already been at to the police station twice–called in for reasons even they themselves do not know. They use any excuse, so that if you don’t respond to their summons, they can denounce you, apprehend you. Then they ask what’s the plan, who’s behind this. I tell them over and over that behind all this are hungry stomachs. These policemen know who destroyed Zavidovići, who the people are who reduced us to poverty, but their job is to make these visits miserable with constant interrogations,” says Dervo Mušić.
According to the “Krivaja” Union, employees of the largest company in Zavidovići [Krijava, ed.] had earlier been prevented from leaving the company’s property to join the protests, and those who do so outside of working hours are faced with other problems.
“A few coworkers who submitted bus tickets for reimbursement were audited to find out where they went after leaving work,” said Edber Mahmutović.
Twenty residents of Zavidovići have been camping in a small tent village in front of the Municipal Building since Sunday, while several hundred people gather every day in the square in front of the building. As Mušić points out, the demonstrators have received written confirmation that the demands they sent to ten institutions–headquarters of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the canton, the municipal government, the court, and others–were received and registered.
“The deadline for acting on the demands is the 7th of March. We promised that we would keep our dissatisfaction under control until then. Today (19 February, eds.) the police threatened the demonstrators who wanted to block traffic that they would be arrested and removed from the street. What will happen next? No one knows,” says Mušić.