Revolution and Beer exclusive: The Forgotten Protest JMBG-SARAJEVO/BOSNIA and the unnecessary death of Berina Hamidovic


JMBG refers to the citizenship law that still has not been passed in Bosnia. One side wants social security numbers coded to show ethnicity. It has created an impasse in the parliament, and now has led to the death of a small girl. This grew into a national movement when a child, Berina Hamidovic, born in March, needed special medical attention in another country. She was born after a law that assigned social security ID for new citizens expired. Last week, because of public and international attention, Berina and her family were afforded “special” travel documents for travel.

The Bosnian government has three main parties, largely identified by the warring sides in a war that ended after NATO intervened in 1995.The minority Bosnian Serbs are holding up a vote to authorize social security numbers for all new born children. The law expired this past winter, and a new law has not passed leaving thousands of children essential non-persons, without access to passports or healthcare benefits. The Serbs want the new numbers to reflect the person’s ethnic identity. The majority Croats and Bosniaks in parliament want random numbers without an ethnic identifier. Last week Bosnians of all faiths, or no faith blockaded parliament for more than 14 hours, refusing to allow MPs to leave until the law was passed.

This week the ethnically-Muslim family was stopped and held at the Serbian border by officers who, in a blatant case of harassment and bigotry, claimed they needed to verify the family’s documentation. The delay took precious hours that Berina did not have. Doctors in Stuttgart Germany said that if Berina had not been delayed due to the Bosnian government issue and the further delay by Serbian customs police the girl would have survived.

This is what happens when governments don’t work, don’t compromise and aren’t ultimately sensitive to their people. The opportunity she had was due entirely to the thousands who peacefully blockaded the parliament and refused to let politicians leave. Be a peaceful force for change, Be community!
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About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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