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Israeli Embassy Voices Support for Man Accused of Harassing Sarajevo Mayor

Israel’s ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina said that a man who has been reported to the authorities for harassing the pro-Palestinian mayor of Sarajevo by repeatedly sending her distressing images should not be silenced.

Galit Peleg, Israel’s non-resident ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said in a letter on Monday that Amir Gross Kabiri, an Israeli citizen who has been accused of online harassment by Sarajevo’s mayor Benjamina Karic, should not be silenced because of his views.

Mayor Karic has filed criminal complaints against Kabiri, the president of the Abraham Group and the CEO of Bosnia-based metal company Aluminij, for repeatedly harassing her by sending her distressing images, accusing her of supporting Hamas and criticising her stance on the killings of civilians in the Palestinian territories and Israel.

“We believe that the state institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina must not become a political tool to silence criticism, and that Bosnia and Herzegovina must steadfastly defend the democratic rights of all, including Mr. Kabiri, to express their opinions, including the democratic right to call on elected officials to condemn the crimes of Hamas,” Peleg’s letter stated.

The letter was addressed to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Bosniak and Croat-dominated Federation entity, the US embassy in Sarajevo and Office of the High Representative, the international overseer of the implementation of the peace deal that ended the Bosnian war.

Peleg urged the Bosnian authorities to “resist political pressure and carry out their duties in accordance with the law” and said the Israeli embassy will “closely follow” any possible violation of international law and human rights in the case of Kabiri.

Karic alleges that Kabiri has been harassing her on social media for several months after she declined to cover up a Bosnian war-related plaque on Sarajevo’s City Hall to mark Israel’s independence day in May.

Since the escalation of the conflict in Gaza Strip in early October, Karic has repeatedly condemned the killings of civilians in the Palestinian territories and supported pro-Palestinian rallies in the capital.

Kabiri has claimed that because of his “legitimate criticism”, Karic and other politicians have been exerting “pressure on the authorities to isolate me and silence the truth”.

The Sarajevo mayor has received widespread support in political circles and from members of the public, as well as from the Jewish community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Federal Police Administration said that it is currently investigating Karic’s allegations against Kabiri.

Source : Balkaninsight