Bosnia-Herzegovina: Information on the treatment of Serbian Orthodox priests, particularly in Grabovica and Cajnice, and on whether they are being mobilized by the Bosnian Serb army in defiance of UN policy
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 April 1995|
|Citation / Document Symbol||BOS20152.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Information on the treatment of Serbian Orthodox priests, particularly in Grabovica and Cajnice, and on whether they are being mobilized by the Bosnian Serb army in defiance of UN policy, 1 April 1995, BOS20152.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac9186.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Information about the treatment of Serbian Orthodox priests in Grabovica and Cajnice could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB. However, some related information is provided below.
In a telephone interview on 20 April 1995, a lawyer with the Belgrade Centre for Anti-War Action, a non-governmental organization that deals with human rights violations and education, provided the following information. The Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia supports the Bosnian Serb forces, and is well treated by them. Consequently, it is highly unlikely that Serbian Orthodox priests would be mobilized by the Bosnian Serb army. However, Serbian theological students, like all other students, would be subject to mobilization. The lawyer added that there are very few Serbian Orthodox priests in Croat- and Moslem-controlled areas of Bosnia, and could not provide information about them.
In a telephone interview on 21 April 1994, the Chairperson of the Serbian Helsinki Committee in Belgrade stated that Serbian Orthodox priests in Bosnia support the Bosnian Serb forces and are well treated by them. The Chairperson did not indicate whether Serbian Orthodox priests and Serbian theological students are mobilized by the Bosnian Serb army. The Chairperson added that there are very few Serbian Orthodox priests in Croat- and Moslem-controlled areas of Bosnia, and could not provide information about them.
In a telephone interview on 24 April 1995, a research analyst at Prague's Open Media Research Institute (OMRI), a research enterprise dedicated to the study of the former Soviet Union and east-central and south-eastern Europe, provided the following information. The research analyst stated that it is not official Serb policy to conscript Orthodox priests or Serbian theological students in and around Sarajevo. The analyst stated that he did not know if this is also the case in other areas of Serb-controlled Bosnia. The research analyst added that young males whose occupations are not deemed essential by the Bosnian Serb forces are highly susceptible to conscription.
For additional information on this subject, please consult the attachment.
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this information request.
Centre for Anti-War Action, Belgrade. 20 April 1995. Telephone interview with lawyer.
Open Media Research Institute (OMRI), Prague. 24 April 1995. Telephone interview with research analyst.
Serbian Helsinki Committee, Belgrade. 21 April 1994. Telephone interview with chairperson.
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, Prague. 10 April 1995. Facsimile sent to the DIRB.
Other Sources Consulted
News from Helsinki Watch [New York]. Monthly.
RFE/RL Research Reports [Munich]. Weekly.
Revue Européenne des migrations internationales [Poitiers]. Bi-Monthly.
Uncaptive Minds [New York]. Quarterly.
On-line search of media sources.
Other oral sources.