|Sarajevo, 4 April 2023-31
Krug 99 (Circle 99)
ANNOUNCEMENT OF “CIRCLE 99” (“KRUG 99”) CONCERNING THE DENOUNCING OF MODERATOR AT CITIZENS’ PROTESTS ON 31 MARCH 2023 OUTSIDE O.H.R. OFFICES
Discerning readers reacted with contempt toward some media accounts of the protests held Friday March 3, 2023 outside the premises of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). The facts need to be pointed out in connection with this event and with media reporting about it, as well as commentary in social media, whose authors, cloaked in anonymity, took it upon themselves to deliver moral assessments and interpretations completely out of sync with established norms of public discourse. Not to mention basic civility.
The moderator at the protests was Elma Mujadzic, who had been called upon by the organizers and participated in the protests as a common citizen. In this capacity, she agreed to read out letters from three authors who were unable themselves to attend but who wanted to make direct addresses to those gathered: theater producer Gradimir Gojer, opera singer Margit Tomik-Levy and Professor Dr. Esad Durakovic.
The organizers want to express their dissatisfaction with media articles and reporting by some on-line sites that published bombastic and insidious accounts that tendentiously stigmatized the moderator and that in this way inflicted irreparable harm to her as a citizen and as the mother of an underage child. They also in this way brought into question her security and that of her family, as evidenced by threatening messages directed against her in social media. In a different social environment, this kind of thing could not have happened. On the contrary, it might be expected that the media and journalists might comment on the disinformation disseminated within their own ranks and might apologize to citizen Elma Mujadzic. But it is clear that that would be a lot to hope for in today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why we are insisting on the publication of our reaction. The moderator, and in fact all the protest participants, were purposefully accused of voicing a universal and very well-known anti-fascist slogan, articulated also in the texts that were read aloud at the event. The accusation was that this was a call for open conflict with domestic and foreign political elements.
This perverted imputation of alleged “anti-Western hysteria” assumed perfidious intentions on the part of those very people who had chosen on that very day to openly and uncompromisingly appeal for the creation of civic ideals of liberal democracy, the protection of human rights, civil rights and fair elections – exactly the legacy of that same Western civilization. The interpretation rendered to the public by some of the media could only be possible from a point of view diametrically opposed to the anti-fascist genesis of that slogan.
** Sarajevo, 3 April 2023
Adil Kulenovic, President of “Circle 99” (“Krug 99”)
|Association of Independent Intellectuals – Circle 99 (Bosnian: Krug 99), a leading Bosnian think-tank, was established in Sarajevo in 1993, in the midst of the Bosnian war (1992-1995), while the capital was under siege. Circle 99 provides a platform to bring together intellectuals of various professional and ethnic identities; university professors, members of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and other prominent figures from Bosnia and from abroad. Multidisciplinary discussions and initiatives are held each Sunday throughout the academic year, in the form of regular sessions about politics, science, education, culture, economy, and other societal issues. The overall goal is to sensitize the public towards a democratic transformation, achieving and maintaining peace, and integration of modern Bosnia into the community of countries fostering liberal democracy. Circle 99 has been declared an organization of special significance for the city of Sarajevo.