Police brutality in Mostar sparks reactions, two officers removed from duty

NEWS 12.04.2021 14:25
Source: N1

The Ministry of Interior in Bosnia and Herzegovina's southern Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC) “strongly condemned” the brutal behaviour of police officers from the video showing two policemen beating a man, which became viral and sparked strong reactions. The Mayor of Mostar, where the incident reportedly took place, asked that the police officers are immediately suspended.

“This is a classic example of exceeding of authority and the police code, for which we deeply apologise to the citizens, especially to the young man who was treated like this. The two police officers were immediately removed from duty,” the ministry said, adding that they launched an internal investigation to establish potential elements of criminal responsibility.

“Such behaviour and such persons cannot and must not have a place among police officers,” said the ministry.

The video with disturbing content appeared on online media outlets and social networks this weekend. Reportedly, the incident took place Saturday night in the southern town of Mostar and the man, whose identity has not been unveiled, asked for medical assistance at the Mostar University Clinical Hospital.

Mostar Mayor Mario Kordic joined the Interior Ministry and condemned the behaviour of police officers, demanding a swift investigation into what happened and immediate suspension of police officers.

Kordic said that the officers “damaged the police reputation” with such inappropriate behaviour.

A series of reactions from citizens followed, demanding the most severe sanctions for the police officers who demonstrated what they called the brutality.

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights strongly condemned the behaviour of police officers in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s southern region, who reportedly severely beaten a man the last weekend because he violated the epidemic restrictions. The organisation said this is yet another example that proves further reform and professio

nalisation of police structures is a necessity.

“We are shocked with the frightening violence by police officers who behaved in a completely unacceptable manner and inappropriate to police standards, and we expect the HNC Interior Ministry and competent police bodies to take all measures foreseen by law and remove from duty the perpetrators of this horrible act, which damages already a low degree of trust of citizens to the police and judicial bodies,” the Helsinki Committee said.