BIRN BiH Leads Petition for More Transparency in Bosnia’s Judiciary

Through a campaign to collect citizens’ signatures, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, wants to draw public attention to the problem of inaccessible corruption indictments and verdicts, asking judicial institutions to increase the transparency of their work.

BIRN BiH will hand over the signatures alongside an analysis on the (non)transparency of the judiciary and recommendations for improvements to the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, HJPC, demanding a revision of recommendations for publication of prosecutorial acts, in particular the public availability of corruption indictments.

Through its project, “Transparency against Corruption in Judiciary,” BIRN BiH wants to encourage citizens to take a proactive role and seek necessary changes in the judiciary, as well as raise awareness on the need to standardize document publication practices with the focus on corruption indictments and point to bad practices in the Bosnian judiciary in terms of transparency.

This campaign is being carried out as part of the “Transparency against Corruption in Judiciary” project with financial support from the US Agency for International Development, USAID.

It forms part of a broader project, “Assistance to Citizens in the Fight against Corruption,” which is being implemented by the Centers for Civic Initiatives as the leading partner.

Petition can be signed here bit.ly/3hRLhWX

Video for the campaign https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsrLO30-3DU

Memorial Center and BIRN BiH to Hold Oral History Conference

On July 7, the Memorial Center in Srebrenica and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, will hold a conference in Potocari on “The Role of Oral History in Countering Revisionist Narratives”.

They will present a joint project here titled, “The Lives behind the Fields of Death”, within which a special methodology for collecting oral history from surviving genocide witnesses has been developed.

During the conference in Potocari, the Memorial Center’s director, Emir Suljagic, and BIRN BiH’s executive director, Denis Dzidic, will speak about their experiences in recording oral history.

Suljagic pointed out that through this project the Srebrenica Memorial Center has made a pioneering undertaking of documenting Bosnian history by filming not only the experiences of the July 1995 genocide survivors but also their pre-war lives. “The Lives behind the Fields of Death” records the habits, tradition and spirit of Srebrenica as it was before the events of 1995.

Researchers, as well as the broader public, will have a chance to see the faces and hear the stories, while not having to create an image of the Srebrenica genocide only in terms of the numbers of casualties – which are being denied constantly.

“The idea of this conference is to see how our common history and memories and all our knowledge can find a way to young people in this country both through formal and informal mechanisms. I am particularly glad that the Memorial Center will be the venue for a discussion on this topic,” Suljagic said.

Dzidic said it was shocking that nearly 30 years after the genocide, many young people are still unfamiliar with what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995, and during the entire war. Young people, he noted, are now exposed to denial of genocide and other crimes, as well as the open glorification of convicted war criminals.

“Through this project we have enabled a serious debate about revisionism and the ways to counter it. Following so many verdicts by both international and domestic courts, crimes and genocide are still being denied. It is of extreme importance to start countering that within the educational system,” Dzidic said.

During one of the conference panels, the participants will discuss how oral history can be used to counter revisionism and war crime denial, while international and domestic experts will also discuss how to include oral history in the formal and informal educational systems.

During the conference, videos from “The Lives behind the Fields of Death” will be premiered alongside a video presentation of an exhibition room from “The Lives behind the Fields of Death” project, which will be open to visitors by the end of 2021.

Since October last year, 100 testimonies of genocide survivors have been filmed within the “The Lives behind the Fields of Death” project using, for the first time, a special oral history methodology designed by the Memorial Center.

Through this project financed by the government of the Netherlands, the Memorial Center and BIRN BiH wanted to link individual testimonies with items in the museum collection of the Memorial Center, which survivors have donated. They have also collected new artefacts and testimonies. In future the Center will work on developing the methodology further in cooperation with the De Montfort University from Leicester in England.

 

Mirza Mršo

Mirza joined BIRN BiH in March 2021. He has been a cameraman for 15 years in TV companies in Bosnia.

He has experience in making documentaries and feature TV series and in daily monitoring significant events. Before starting at BIRN BiH, Mirza worked for the Federation of BiH’s Public Service Radio and Television.

Aida Mahmutović

Aida joined BIRN BiH Detektor.ba team in April 2021. She is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Aida began her career as an intern for the Center for e-Governance Development in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2011. In 2012 she was promoted to project coordinator. Her primary fields of experience are related to Internet governance and human rights. She was programme manager at One World Platform (OWP) and led Internet rights and women’s rights projects. This included international projects by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), such as “End violence: Women Rights and Safety Online”, “Local Actions to Secure Internet Rights”, and the global “Take Back The Tech” campaign.

She worked as an external consultant for DotSensei (Bulgaria), collaborated on the protestos.org project by Article19 and TecticalTech, and was a digital copywriter for Greenpeace. In 2017, she started the Balkan School on Internet Governance. Since 2016, she has worked on Geneva Internet Platform’s Digital Watch Observatory as a content co-creator and curator covering global developments on privacy and data protection and cultural diversity, and later gender rights online and migration and technology. Since 2012, she has actively participated in the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum.

In 2014, she was selected by the UN Secretary General to serve a three-year term on the UN’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum. She served as executive committee member of the South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) and as a member of the organising committee for the Regional Internet Forum.

Aida co-authored the GisWatch BiH country report (2014) on digital surveillance, “End Violence: Women’s Rights and Safety Online (2015.)” and “Cybersecurity Governance and Gender in the Western Balkans” for Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) (2021).

Aida is a DiploFoundation alumni. She speaks four foreign languages: English, Spanish, French, and Slovenian.

 

 

Nejra Džaferagić

Nejra is a BIRN BiH journalist based in Sarajevo. Aside from journalistic reporting, she is in charge of running a database connected to public procurement procedures.

During her studies, she worked as an intern in the fields of investigative journalism, television, radio and online media. She obtained a Masters in Communication from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Sarajevo. She is fluent in Bosnian and English.

Mladen Obrenovic

Mladen joined BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 2020. He has been a professional journalist since 1996.

More than two-and-a-half decades of his journalistic career, he has collaborated with many newsrooms in Croatia and abroad, as well as non-profit associations that support the development of independent and professional journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mladen was awarded within the project “Dialogue for the Future: Improving Dialogue and Social Cohesion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia” in 2021. Mladen has a PhD in Communication Science. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Sarajevo.

Admir Hodžić

Based in Sarajevo, Admir joined BIRN in March 2021 and is managing BIRN BiH’s official social media platforms, including Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

Before joining BIRN BiH Admir worked as a marketing manager for several advertising companies in Bosnia and as a freelance designer and product owner in various startups.

Admir speaks B/H/S and English languages.

 

BIRN BiH to Build Database of Judicially Established Facts About Bosnia War

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, has begun to create an interactive educational database of judicially established facts about the 1992-5 war with the aim of confronting revisionist narratives and war crimes denial.

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, has begun to create an interactive educational database of judicially established facts about the 1992-5 war with the aim of confronting revisionist narratives and war crimes denial.

The goal of the project, launched in early April this year, is to raise the level of public understanding, ensure support for coming to terms with the past by developing a tool for teaching and learning about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and challenge revisionist narratives.

BIRN BiH executive director Denis Dzidic said the project will present a unique approach to war crime judgments. Instead of focusing on individuals, he said, BIRN BiH will investigate and report judicially established facts about the things that happened in certain areas of the country during the war.

“The idea of the project is to create a source of fact-based data, which can be used for educational and informational purposes and which will contribute to combating disinformation and improving media literacy,” Dzidic said.

As a result of the project activities, BIRN BiH will create a multimedia database enriched with short documentaries, as well as educational tools for teachers that will help them prepare a methodology for teaching and learning about the Bosnian war.

“The database, documentaries and teaching tools will be developed in a unique manner, leaving no space for interpretations and misuse of established facts,” Dzidic said.

The project is supported by the UN Democracy Fund.

 

BIRN Bosnia’s Nermina Kuloglija Longlisted for One World Media Award

Nermina Kuloglija, a journalist with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, has been longlisted for the One World Media award in the New Voice category for young journalists who have made a substantial contribution to international journalism during the year.

Nermina Kuloglija, a journalist with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, has been longlisted for the One World Media award in the New Voice category for young journalists who have made a substantial contribution to international journalism during the year.

She has been listed alongside ten other journalists in one of the categories of the One World Media international awards for her series of articles on far-right organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kuloglija was the first journalist to investigate the links between right-wing groups in Bosnia and extreme right organisations in the USA Europe, Russia and Ukraine. She is the only journalist from Bosnia put up for this year’s award.

The nomination refers to these published investigations: In Bosnian River Town, Far-Right Symbols and a Link to Ukraine, Ultra-Right Groups Show Their Face in Bosnian Town as well as a TV Justice episode, Nationalism Festers in Srebrenica, 25 Years after Genocide.

A total of 150 journalists and media workers are competing in 15 categories. The short list of three nominees in each category will be announced in May. The winners will be announced during an online ceremony on June 17.

Kulogija joined BIRN BiH in August 2019. She began journalism after graduating from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo in 2017. As a member of BIRN BiH team, she has won the European Press Prize award for reporting on transitional justice and war crimes processes in Bosnia for many years, as well as a special plaque of the Srdjan Aleksic award for reporting about marginalized groups.