The chairman of the United Kingdom-based global Stirling Education Fund, Timothy Fisher, which owns several educational institutions in BiH, including Richmond Park College in Bihac, commented to Klix.ba news portal on the arrest of Fatih Keskin, the director of the college.
“It’s been 10 days since Mr. Keskin was arrested and detained at the Immigration Center. First and foremost, we are very sorry for his family, and we can equally feel the frustrations of teachers, parents and students of Richmond Park College in Bihac. Keskin is a great educator. Our schools respect local laws and regulations and work properly in accordance with national curricula,” Fisher stated.
He continued by saying that his personal opinion is that it is such a surreal situation that no reasonable person would expect to happen in a developed country like Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“This country aspires to become a member of the European Union. However, the EU, on the other hand, expects a potential member to respect the principles followed by other members, namely the rule of law and respect for human rights,” Fisher said.
A hearing has been held on Thursday in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the case of Professor Fatih Keskin.
Lawyer Nedim Ademovic, who represents the Turkish national and director of Richmond Park College in Bihac, Keskin, told the media that this political persecution was agreed at the political level.
This citizen, national of the Republic of Turkey has resided in BiH for over 20 years, but was recently placed under surveillance by the local authorities at the Immigration Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo.
Ademovic said that the Court of BiH is required to hear Keskin on Thursday and to give him an opportunity to present his defense and that he expected that he would receive from the Court of BiH a minimum of information about why Keskin was actually declared a threat to BiH’s national security.
Ademovic explained that it was not possible to present adequate defense today, since they still do not have access to the documentation collected by OSA BiH, pointing out that he does not know whether such documentation exists, Klix.ba news portal reports.
He further explained that they presented evidence that Keskin resides lawfully in BiH, that he is a credible and family-friendly man who has never committed a misdemeanor, and in particular violated any criminal laws.
He pointed out that the case was pure political persecution and that the defense provided the Court of BiH with impunity records (as of December 2, 2019), which clearly shows that Keskin was not prosecuted in any way in Turkey.
“We also related to the arguments of BiH Minister of Security Dragan Mektic who said that his passport was allegedly canceled. We claim that this was a political persecution agreed at the political level and which should have resulted in the actual abduction of Keskin and deportation in an emergency procedure. Turkey where he would be imprisoned without any rights,” Ademovic said.
“The decision should be made by law within three days, I suppose we will get it on Monday. On what basis does the Court of BiH decide if there is no documentation?”, Ademovic concluded.