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Bosnian Protesters Blame Baby's Death On Passport Delays

A memorial to months-old Belmina Ibrisevic, who died in a German clinic after delays in getting a passport.
SARAJEVO -- Protesters in Sarajevo have covered a mock tomb in front of the parliament building with a black blanket to commemorate the death of a baby girl that they blame on red tape.

The protesters claim that bureaucratic hurdles prevented the girl from undergoing stem-cell surgery abroad that could have saved her life.

The demonstration on October 17 came a day after months-old Belmina Ibrisevic died in a German clinic.

She was forced to wait to travel to Germany for a bone-marrow transplant because Bosnian authorities could not assign her an identification number.

In June, thousands protested in Sarajevo against the failure of parliament to pass legislation allowing newborns to receive passports and obtain medical care abroad.

Another Bosnian baby girl, Berina Hamidovic, died in a Serbian clinic in June after delays in obtaining a passport.