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Montenegrin Policeman Honored For Refusing To Deport Muslims

Slobodan Pejovic
Slobodan Pejovic
PODGORICA -- A former Montenegrin policeman has been chosen to receive an award for his refusal to participate in the deportation of Bosnian Muslims during the Bosnian war, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

The Sarajevo-based nongovernmental agency Gariwo said it will present its international award for civic courage to former police inspector Slobodan Pejovic on February 23 in Sarajevo.

In 1992, Pejovic refused to take part in the deportation of some 100 Bosnian Muslims who had fled to Montenegro from Bosnia-Herzegovina to escape the fighting.

The refugees were returned by Yugoslav officials from the town of Herceg-Novi to Bosnian Serbian forces in eastern Bosnia, where most of them were killed.

Pejovic and his property have since been the target of numerous threats and attacks, none of which have been prosecuted by police. Pejovic has accused the authorities of doing nothing to protect him, even after he received a death threat.

Pejovic has also complained about Montenegrin officials not granting him the travel documents he needs to go to Sarajevo to receive his award.

Svetlana Broz, the head of Gariwo and the granddaughter of late Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito, said Pejovic's greatness lies not only in that he was the first to speak publicly about what happened, but also in the fact that he was the only one who spoke out about it.

Last November, Pejovic said he had been warned to leave the country before the beginning of a trial against officials allegedly responsible for the Bosnian Muslims' deportation. He was not called as a witness in the trial.

Human rights groups criticized the trial because it only involved police and not any of the political leaders whose orders were being carried out.