Mustafa Ceric, the head of Bosnia’s Islamic community, warned on 5 June 2002 that thousands of Bosnians could be deprived of valuable humanitarian aid as authorities target groups suspected of having links to terrorism, Reuters reported.
RFE/RL – 6 June 2002 – “Islamic humanitarian organizations are raided and investigated not because they have done something wrong but because of suspicion they might think of doing something wrong,” AP quoted him as saying.
Eight groups have been targeted since the 11 September attacks in the United States heightened global efforts to curb terrorism, Reuters noted. Ceric charged that authorities are creating an atmosphere in which accusations of terrorist links are leveled without having been proven in court, Reuters said.
Police this week raided the Bosnia offices of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which has been blacklisted by the United States for alleged links to terrorism.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija told the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Sarajevo on 5 June that checks on charity organizations’ finances were not aimed solely at Arabic Islamic charities but at “all those for which there was sufficient evidence that they breached Bosnia-Herzegovina’s regulations,” FENA reported.
This news item was originally published by RFE/RL, (Un)Civil Societies, Vol. 3, No. 24, 12 June 2002. Copyright © 2002. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org