My words represented here are my personal views and opinion. Here I am observing yet another example of international media curtain this time in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have been actively following the protests in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria, and now in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What I realize is that now people around the world are awakening. They understand that government is because of them and not the other way round. Everyone has an almost similar demand from their government. Somewhere governments responded by brutal attacks on the protesters and somewhere governments appeared to be sleeping and not listening.
Amidst all this what I realized is that media curtain on the East European countries still prevails. The discrimination is not only limited to Bulgaria’s and Romania’s entry to Schengen but is also on the media coverage of Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s protests where people in thousands have taken to the streets rallying against their governments peacefully with some sincere demands.
The protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not just because of loopholes in their policies but also the ignorance and the behaviour with which government responded is against general humanity. Protesters want their government to end inter-ethnic argument about petty and trivial matters. There is a loophole in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s legal system that has brought thousands of citizen on the streets protesting over failure of lawmakers to agree on new legislation on citizen’s identity number. This is preventing the new-borns since February from getting registered. Being unregistered means no passport and no medical care cards.
There has been an ongoing dispute for past two years between the Muslim, Croat and Serb lawmakers who have been brawling over a draft law on PIN (Personal Identification Number). Until the dispute is settled, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constitutional court has ordered a halt to the registration on new-borns. This PIN is necessary for all necessary documents, proofs and services. Such examples in the legal system of Bosnia and Herzegovina has caused problems in the country’s path to joining European Union.
How did the protests take the current avatar?
Thousands of protesters without carrying any banners or posters encircled the parliament placed candles on the ground and stood peacefully to mourn the death of a three month old baby which became the victim of government’s not so well thought policies.
The baby girl had to be diagnosed with tracheoesophageal fistula (a hole between gullet and windpipe), the parent having faith in Bosnian and Herzegovinian facilities first got her diagnosed in Sarajevo but had to face the failure. Later, when they wanted to take her to Germany for better treatment, they could not do so as the parents were unable to obtain a passport for the baby because she was not registered with a PIN due to this legal gap. The parents then had to take their child to Belgrade in the neighbouring Serbia by illegally crossing the border. Parents claimed that a lot of time was wasted to persuade the Serbian border police to understand the case of emergency and let the baby in without the passport.
Parents though had successfully made to Belgrade, and the Serbian doctors started the treatment. I can understand the legal gap could not have been rectified immediately that day, but at least the government could have helped the baby on human ground, but Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities refused to pay for the surgery. Even after so much efforts made by the parents, they had to accept the bad news of her death as she contracted infection.
If there would have been no delay made at the Serbian border may be she would have been saved, but we can’t blame the Serbian border police. They were just doing their duty. The lawmakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be blamed. When you realize that hundreds of thousands of families want to give the best care to their baby child in a country whose under 5 mortality rate is 8, and infant mortality rate is 7.
This sad incidence has united the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina regardless of their ethnicity and religion for the first time since the end of 1992-95 war.
Now along with the adoption of the law on JMBG and filling this legal gap, protesters also demand creation of a state solidarity fund that would finance the treatment of citizen abroad if they did not find proper facilities and treatment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Protesters are also demanding that MPs and minister of Council of Ministers should give up 30% of their salary which is six times the national average in favour of the proposed solidarity fund for the time they are in office. To ensure the protest goes smoothly, protesters also demand that protesters should not be prosecuted or subjected to brutal measures by the authority. Please read #jmbg manifesto
for more information.
The protests started on June 5th and it is already three weeks but we have not heard it in media. We have been hearing about Turkey and Brazil where the protests have taken a violent turn, although the protests in Bulgaria and Bosnia have been peaceful until now.
It is not just about Bosnia and Herzegovina, this can happen everywhere. Therefore I urge every citizen who believes in a change in society must follow and support this protest, you will get more information on its official website
and following the conversation on twitter and Facebook #jmbg. All the individual bloggers must come out and write about it and offer support to the citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina whatever is possible in your capacity. Share this post and spread the word. Recently it has been declared by the government that those supporting the protests online will be identified and punished. People in Bosnia are not scared of it. Let us internationally provide support and platform for the protesters to continue on this noble cause.
Dedicate Your 15 Minutes for the Noble Cause
On World Social Media day on 30th June a hashmob is organized known as baby Revolution or Babylution where we all will gather online for 15 minutes to support the #JMBG protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please go here and join the movement. 30th June is also the deadline given by the protesters to the government to meet their demands. This will be the world’s first hashmob on Facebook (Facebook is more popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Be the proud part of it and let us support our brothers and sisters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
+Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of The World Reporter open students’ journalism. His motive is to make media more free which is sometimes used as a tool that can affect a healthy democracy by influencing the view of the mass with its opinion, there should be equal democracy inside media as well without any predefined approach, and this is possible when every citizen is given power to express their views.
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