Nerma Jelacic Takes Part in an Expert Panel in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

BIRN BiH director, Nerma Jelacic, took part in an expert panel at a training session of young Bosnian lawyers in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 20.

Organised by the Criminal Defence Section, the conference gathered students of law from across the country and examined the role of the state court in trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Jelacic spoke about the need for open trials and the role of the media and civil society groups in the rule of law.

Other speakers were judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and international experts on humanitarian law.

Nerma Jelacic Speeks at Budapest Conference

BIRN BiH director, Nerma Jelacic, was a speaker at an international conference in Budapest on May 17.

The conference, organized by the Hungarian Europe Society gathered Balkan and international experts to discuss social, political and security challenges in the region. Jelacic spoke about the media and war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia in the early Nineties.

She warned that many journalists who spread ethnic hatred during the war remain active in the media field. She called on the international community to see that the democratisation of the media is completed before pulling out of development programmes in this sector.

Other speakers included Dr Erhard Busek, Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for the South East Europe; Sonja Biserko, director of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Serbia; Goran Svilanovic, members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Reinhard Priebe of the European Commission Enlargement Directorate General; Fernardo Gentilini, Council of the European Union; and Matthew Rycroft, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

OSF Will Support BIRN BiH Justice Project

BIRN BiH is pleased to announce that Open Society Fund in Sarajevo will support its ongoing Justice project.

The Open Society will sponsor BIRN’s project which aims to bring justice closer to the Bosnian citizens and international audiences with a donation of 50,000 euro. The money will be used for continued production of Justice Report, a specialised bi-lingual publication which follows trials at Sarajevo ‘s War Crimes Chamber and related justice issues.

The project also includes initiatives for improving understanding between the judiciary and civil society. BIRN’s Justice Dialogue and Justice for All projects are specially created to inform Bosnians throughout the country and living in exile about the country’s progress in dealing with the past.

Justice Report has recorded month-on-month increases in its readership since its launch.

The publication’s website, has had almost 200,000 visitors, most of them from
Bosnia and Herzegovina.

If you wish to subscribe to Justice Report or find out more about this service please contact BIRN BiH director Nerma Jelacic on [email protected].

Publication inspires humanitarian action

"Zepa marks anniversary alone", a feature produced by BIRN’s trainees
on the tenth anniversary of the fall of the former enclave in July
2005, has prompted members of the public provide humanitarian support
for people featured in the story.

The article
written last July by BIRN trainees Aida Alic and Ilda Zornic,
highlighted the plight of Camil Basic, 75, who for years has been
living in a wooden hut with no roof or windows and survives with the
help of his neighbours.

A group of young people were so
moved by the article that they tried to help Basic. "I read the story
on your website and then posted it on the internet portal Saraejvo-x,"
Stefan Balorda, one of the youngsters told BIRN. Publication on this
website prompted further offers of help from members of the public.

"I really would like Camil to get a roof over his head because that’s every person’s right," said Balorda.

are now being made to help Basic build a house, provide clothes and
food and money to buy the medicine he needs. The ministry of human
rights and refugess has said it us prepared to help.

followed up on your information and have sent a team to visit Camil
Basic," Mujo Jejna, assistant minister for human rights and refugees
told BIRN.

He said the ministry was currently looking for a donor to help build his house.

If you wish to help Camil Basic get a home you can send a contribnution to the following bank account

Raiffeisen bank

Account number,
(for companies/legal entity) 10-00-06015-0
(for persons/individual) 19-00-50280-6

If you would like to offer any other form of help, email [email protected]

BIRN Receives One Year Support From the Netherlands

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has received one-year support from the Netherlands. The grant is aimed to help BIRN to create a network of journalists across the Balkans, capable of probing and analysing key transition issues and the process of European integration for policy-makers and the public at large.

Specifically, this means increasing the strength of the teams of journalists and analysts across the region which produce our unique output; the BIRN hub and the BIRN network’s member organisations that support them; and the BIRN network’s capacity to reach out to other media, NGOs, institutions, policymakers and society at large.

BIRN documentary screened at LSE

The screening of the BIRN TV documentary Does Anyone Have a Plan at the prestigious London School of Economics on May 8 generated a lively discussion on Kosovo’s final status.

Gordana Igric, Executive Director of the BIRN Regional Network, fielded questions on the ongoing negotiations; the causes and consequences of the dissolution of Yugoslavia; and the economic viability of the countries that emerged from the breakup of the federation.

The film was produced in January this year and has been screened across the Balkans and internationally, receiving very positive reviews.

Gordana Igric is the new Executive Director of the BIRN Regional Network from June 1st.

Gordana, who founded BIRN during her tenure as Balkan Programme Manager at IWPR, will move from her current position as BIRN’s Editorial and Development Director to the position of BIRN Regional Network Director.

Her predecessor, Anna McTaggart, whose work was crucial to BIRN’s creation and sound development, becomes Regional Network Development Coordinator.

From September she will be based in Zagreb, extending our network coverage of Croatia and developing additional regional-level projects.