Pazaric workers spoke about horrific conditions 10 years ago, only to be punished and threatened
10 years ago, a journalist did a story about the institution where children are kept in horrific conditions. Nobody reacted
Journalist Nerminka Emric, well known in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 10 years ago made a series of reports for the Federal Television about the situation in the Pazaric Institution - but the public reacted at best mildly, almost not at all. As she says, at that time workers of the Institute stood in front of the camera asking for help.
"They directly called out Director Zarfa Dupovac, and after that Director Jasmin Cerimagic. They testified that certain circles of people got rich at the expense of the wards and those children, how things were being taken away from the wards and those children, how the wards and those children were in dire conditions, and they begged and asked for help," she told Faktor.
However, nobody at all reacted.
"The opposite happened. The employees who stood in front of the camera for me were punished. I feel bad for those women, they are not the ones to blame, they were the first to talk about the horror that's going on down there. We exposed them all, and in the end they paid the price for the truth, they were punished by pay cuts and they received threats. After that, I was banned from approaching the Institution," she recalls.
She added that she went a step further, identifying who were the responsible persons in the Ministry.
"At the time in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Assistant Minister Dobrica Jonjic and Secretary Fehim Bekan. However, after that, a big nothing, once again. One of my last stories for FTV was called 'The Bekan Network', where I accurately identified the people who were directly involved and knew what was going on and what the situation was in each institution. And after that story, one big nothing again. Actually, not quite nothing, I was in trouble. I got sued by Fehim Began and unfortunately the court ruled in his favor. Now that Director Redzep Salic, and then a federal lawmaker have revealed what is happening down there, my stories from 10 years ago have proven to be true. The truth finally surfaces. The Pazaric Institute is just the tip of the iceberg," says Emric.
Yesterday, hundreds of citizens gathered in front of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina Government building in Sarajevo, seeking an urgent response by the authorities to the treatment of children in the Pazaric Institution for developmentally disabled children, including them being tied to radiators and furniture.
Video: Neighbors show what wards in the Home for Persons with Developmental Disabilities do
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