Document - Bosnia and Herzegovina: Amnesty International calls for impartial investigation into death of human rights defender

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL


Public Statement


AI Index: EUR 63/001/2007 (Public)

News Service No: 038

23 February 2007


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Amnesty International calls for impartial investigation into death of human rights defender



Amnesty International is extremely concerned about the murder of the member and co-founder of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina Dusko Kondor, as well as about the serious injury of his daughter.


The organization welcomes the fact that a person allegedly responsible for the killing was reportedly arrested but also calls on the police and prosecutor’s office of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina to immediately launch an investigation in to the murder of Dusko Kondor. The investigation should be conducted promptly, thoroughly and impartially, according to international standards.


According to several reliable sources Dusko Kondor died from injuries after being attacked by persons with machine gun fire on the night of 22 February in his own apartment in Bijeljina. Although Amnesty International has no information on what the motive for the murder was, the organization is concerned that the killing may be connected to the cooperation of Dusko Kondor with international organizations in his work to reveal the impunity for the war crimes in Republika Srpska.


Amnesty International is concerned that despite the fact that Mr Kondor several times reported death threats to the police no security measures have been undertaken by the police of the Republika Srpska to protect him.


“Although the motives for the murder are not yet known, under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, persons such as Dusko Kondor should be guaranteed the right to participate in peaceful activities publicizing human rights violations and to be protected against violence” said Nicola Duckworth, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme of Amnesty International, attending a conference organized by the International Helsinki Federation in Montenegro.


According to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders it is the state obligation to conduct a "prompt and impartial investigation" or inquiry whenever there is a "reasonable ground" to believe that a violation has occurred.









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