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Sonja Biserko Gets a High Decoration

February 1, 2010


On February 1, 2010 Chairwoman of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia received a high decoration from President of the Republic of Croatia Stjepan Mesic for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of human and civil rights, rights of minorities in particular, and for contributing to normalization of Serbia-Croatia relations. President Mesic pointed out that Ms. Biserko had been among the first to condemn the nationalistic policy of Slobodan Milosevic's regime.

Expressing her appreciation of the honor done to her, Ms. Biserko said that of all the activities of the Helsinki Committee she considered its work on the return of refugees to Croatia the most important. This work, she said, placed the issue of the return of all refugees and displaced persons in the region at the top of the human rights agenda and actually turned it into an issue preconditioning the safeguard of multiethnicity of the newly emerged states. This is still an open problem, she concluded, adding that fresh advances are still needed and Croatia, as the country closest to the membership of the European Union, can still contribute much to the establishment of genuine multiethnicity and serve as an example to the region still facing problems in the implementation of that concept.

Besides the Chairwoman of the Helsinki Committee, President Mesic decorated Efraim Zuroff, director of Simon Wiesenthal Jerusalem Center, and Jorge Huentes Mazoni-Viallongi, former OSCE ambassador to Croatia and incumbent Spanish ambassador to Bulgaria.



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