HLC Executive Director presents RECOM Initiative to Banja Luka students

Banjaluka, BiH, March 27, 2010

On March 27th 2010, Nataša Kandić, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) addressed students at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka, BiH, upon an invitation by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Center for Student Democracy, and the Faculty of Philosophy. In a lecture prepared for this occasion, Ms. Kandić said that dealing with our past and our own crimes is a prerequisite for the democratization of society and in that context she talked about war crimes trials before national jurisdictions and the RECOM process.

Before addressing the students, Ms. Kandić spoke about the arrest of Ejup Ganić in the United Kingdom and the accusations made by the president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska against her and the RECOM process to members of the press: Radio-Television of Republika Srpska (RTRS), Federal Television, BH Television, Alternative Television (ATV), BN Television, Banjaluka BEL Television, SRNA News Agency, daily papers Independent Newspaper, Glas Srpske, Blic, Focus, Oslobođenje, and Daily Avaz.

This was the first time students of the Faculty of Political Sciences had an opportunity to hear about the debate on the creation of the regional commission for establishing the facts about victims and war crimes. They also heard about the elements and activities of the commission where the public debate has already reached a consensus and also about the issues on which consensus is yet to be found. The students expressed support for the idea to create a regional commission and a process which demands an extensive debate on the needs of the victims.

That same day, in their evening news program, TV station RTRS broadcast, professionally and without comment, a segment on the HLC Executive Director’s visit to the Faculty of Political Sciences and her statements to the press. Parts of her visit to Banjaluka were also aired on ATV, BN, FTV, BHT, and BEL Television. In addition, all TV stations aired the press release of the Coordination Council of the Coalition for RECOM denying allegations made by Branko Todorović, president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska that the RECOM process has been privatized and had been discontinued.

In the next day’s edition of daily papers Independent Newspaper, Daily Avaz, Glas Srpske, Oslobođenje, and Blic published reports about the lecture given by HLC Executive Director at the students of the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka and her press conference, while Independent Newspaper, Oslobođenje, and Blic also published a part of the press release of Coordination Council of the Coalition for RECOM.