HRA: Citizens of Herceg Novi do not know the facts about the deportation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees in 1992.

"Positions are divided regarding the erection of a monument to the victims of the deportation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees in front of the Security Center in Herceg-Novi, so there are slightly more supporters (33,2%) than opponents of such an initiative (30%), while the largest number remains neutral (36.6%), i.e. they don't have an opinion because they don't have enough information"

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Photo: HRA
Photo: HRA
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

A survey of public opinion in Herceg Novi showed that citizens do not know the facts about the war crime of deportation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees from May 1992 and the court rulings regarding this event, and that the majority have a neutral attitude about the memorial, the NGO Action for Human Rights announced. (HRA).

It should be added that those who are informed about the crime evaluate that action as inhumane, unjust and even treacherous.

"It is encouraging that as many as 77% of respondents recognize the importance of including lessons on war crimes and other serious violations of human rights in the educational system of Montenegro, while almost half (47,8%) agree that it is important to mark the places of all war crimes as they they would not repeat it in the future.

Opinions are divided regarding the erection of a monument to the victims of the deportation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees in front of the Security Center in Herceg-Novi, so there are slightly more supporters (33,2%) than opponents of such an initiative (30%), while the majority remain neutral. (36.6%), i.e. they don't have a position because they think they don't have enough information," the statement said.

The HRA pointed out that the absence of facts about this war crime in the formal education system, along with numerous misinformation, as well as the wave of negative historical revisionism in Montenegro, results in the extremely alarming fact that a third of respondents believe that the deportation was fully or partially justified, while to which 29.4% believe that it was completely justified, and 3.8% partially.

Only a fifth of the surveyed citizens (19.5%) clearly express the opinion that the deportation was not justified, while almost half (47.3%) believe that they do not have enough information to make a decision about it, the survey showed.

"This is confirmed by the fact that the highest level of information about this war crime is shown by older citizens of Herceg Novi, especially those over 65 (90.8%). They know that the deported refugees were civilians (58.2%), they personally met a victim of deportation or a member families of deportees (17.7%) and support the erection of a monument in front of the Security Center in Herceg Novi (47.1%)", concludes HRA.

For the needs of this NGO, the research was conducted from May 11 to 18 by the DAMAR agency on a representative sample of adult residents of the municipality of Herceg Novi. This research was produced with the help of the project EU Support to Confidence Building in the Western Balkans, which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), according to the announcement.

"In May and June 1992, the Montenegrin police illegally arrested at least 66 Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who fled to Montenegro from the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then delivered them to the enemy army of the Serbian Republic on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the largest number Only twelve managed to survive extradition to the concentration camps. In addition to the Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 33 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina were also arrested and returned to the Republic of Serbia for mobilization refugees of Serbian nationality were not treated as hostages, nor is it known that any of them died as a result of the immediate consequences of deportation

The largest number of arrested refugees were brought to the Herceg-Novi Security Center, which served as a collection center, from where they were transported by bus on May 25 to the concentration camp of the KPD Foča, and on May 27 to an unspecified location in eastern BiH, on the territory of the then Serbian Republic (subsequently named Republika Srpska). All the Muslims deported by bus on May 27, 1992 were probably killed on the same day and their bodies were thrown into the Drina River. The remains of all the victims have not yet been found. Other Muslim refugees were also arrested at the end of May 1992 in Bar, Podgorica or in the area near the border with BiH and were deported individually directly to the camp in Foč or were handed over to agents of the Republika Srpska, after which all traces of them were lost," HRA reminded. .

HRA, Center for Civic Education (CGO), Center for Women's and Peace Education - ANIMA and human rights activist, Aleksandar Saša Zeković, have been insisting on erecting a monument to the victims of deportation since 2011, wanting to fulfill the wishes of the families of the victims of refugees. some of whom are still searching for the remains of their loved ones, according to the announcement.

"This year, together with the Bosniak council, we sent the initiative to the president of the municipality of Herceg Novi, Stevan Katic, and the president of the municipal assembly, Ivan Otović, and to all councilors in the local parliament of HN, from whom we have not received any response to date.

The Council for Citizen Control of Police Work has once again called on the President of the Herceg Novi Municipal Assembly, Ivan Otović, to advocate for the erection of a monument to the victims of deportation. "For two years, Otović has not answered the Council's questions as to whether the Herceg Novi Municipal Assembly expressed its opinion on the inclusion of this initiative in the Program for erecting memorials and with what outcome," HRA announced.

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