The Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) condemn the brutal murder of human rights activist Mr. Dusko Kondor and urge the authorities of Republika Srpska as well as Republika Srpska police, to effectively find and prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.
Dusko Kondor was a founder of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska and Director of the School of Civil Courage within the NGO GARIWO. According to reports from the Helsinki Committee, Kondor was killed at approximately 10:30 pm last night when three attackers fired on him more than 20 times through the door of his apartment with an automatic weapon. Kondor’s 21-year old daughter was also seriously wounded in the attack.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska is one of the few human rights organizations that has openly criticized radical nationalism, war crimes involvement, and corruption within Republika Srpska. The Committee’s efforts to defend each individual’s human rights have generated great respect for the organization among citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During the past two years Dusko Kondor had on several occasions received death threats against himself and his family. He repeatedly contacted the local police seeking protection, but to no avail. Indeed, on the very day he was murdered, Kondor approached the police with new death threats he received. His appeals were ignored even when he returned the same afternoon with yet another request for protection.
“It’s very, very tragic, not the least for Dusko Kondor’s family, but also for the Helsinki Committee in RS who lost one of their most active members, said Robert Hårdh, Secretary General of the Swedish Helsinki Committee. “The murder of Dusko Kondor is a very hard setback for human rights and the civil society in RS and BiH. This shows the great need for continuing support to human rights NGOs and activists.”
“We condemn this heinous crime which was an attack not just on Dusko Kondor and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, but on all citizens in Republika Srpska who want to live in peace with their neighbors and build a society based on the rule of law,” said NED President Carl Gershman. “The international community must insist that this crime is properly investigated and prosecuted, and it must also continue to support the brave work of the Helsinki Committee and others who reject these tactics of hatred and intimidation.”
For further information, please contact Ivana Howard from the National Endowment for Democracy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Natasha Jevtic Esbjornson from the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (email@example.com).