Frequent allegations and testimonies about citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) fighting in the war in Ukraine have not yet been officially confirmed by domestic security agencies. When it comes to earlier warnings from Russia about the participation of more than 160 BiH citizens in Ukrainian military formations, the Ministry of Security claims that they do not have such information. Checks, experts say, are ongoing and are likely to confirm the participation of our citizens on both sides of the conflict, BHRT writes.
Senad from BiH. That is how the Ukrainian media presented one of the foreign volunteers involved in Ukrainian paramilitary formations. According to the same allegations, he lives abroad, but he would probably be the target of the law when he arrived in his native country. The fact that this person, at least publicly, has not been registered and identified with the security services does not mean that he will not be, experts say.
”Intelligence and security agencies do not share certain information of an operational nature with the public. On the other hand, it is understandable to me that at this moment, names may not be published, if there is a certain number of BiH citizens who are currently on the battlefield in Ukraine. Depending on their character and profile, when returning to their home countries, they are unlikely to find any work or engagement. We have had many examples from the past that such people are hired by criminal groups, especially more strongly organized criminal groups,” noted Safet Music, security expert.
Data collection has been hampered since fighters from foreign battlefields realized they would be punished for it. No more publicly posted photos and videos on social media. Such information is necessary for criminal proceedings to be instituted at all, but this does not mean that such persons would automatically end up in custody.
Several BiH citizens have previously been in the crisis area of Ukraine, mostly on the side of pro-Russian forces. One person was tried but acquitted. A domestic court has prosecuted and convicted at least 25 people for the war in Syria. Lawyers claim that there are no objections to the level of sanctions imposed by Western countries.
”If there are reasons for detention, they will be kept in custody. However, I think that there would be no specific reasons for detention and that those persons should defend themselves from freedom, ” told Aleksandar Jokic.
On the other hand, the war experience makes some foreign fighters potentially dangerous and security interesting.
”As far as I know, prison sentences and even high prison sentences have been imposed in that regard. The court takes into account the so-called general prevention to prevent others from committing such crimes and I think they take care of that penal policy,” said Vlado Adamovic, lawyer.
The law, in this case, treats BiH citizens who have the citizenship of another country equally. Only those persons who have legally acquired the citizenship of another country and are members of military formations of the same state are not subject to sanctions.