American Bosnian Association
P.O. Box 48
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Fikret Abdic – Bosnian Ataturk
Regarding the Political Persecution and Imprisonment of Fikret Abdic:
An Appeal for a Retrial
For many years, Mr. Fikret Abdic, citizen of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, today known as Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), was an economic innovator and advocate of free market principles in his homeland, instituting sweeping changes in the agricultural, industrial, and trade sectors of his region and entire country. In the western Bosnian provinces of Bihac and Cazinska Krajina, Mr. Abdic’s corporate entity Agrokomerc was the primary catalyst for the remarkable increase in food production and employment opportunities that these impoverished regions experienced in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Agrokomerc grew to become a seminal entity in the economic life of the region, employing 13,500 workers, capitalizing on the experimental economic and political climate that the former Yugoslavia experienced during this time. His successes became to be known, both statewide and worldwide, and it was this reputation as both businessman and humanist that propelled him into the public sphere and eventually into the political life of his country.
The remnants of the communist regime in Belgrade conspired to manufacture fraudulent charges of “counterrevolutionary action” against him, charges that led to his eventual arrest and imprisonment in the year of 1987. He spent two years in jail, having never been found guilty. As a head of Agrokomerc, the first publicly traded company in the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Abdic was able to rally the support of his countrymen due to its economic successes and was nominated as a candidate in the first free and democratic presidential elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina held in 1990. Fikret Abdic won by more than 200,000 votes, but was subsequently prevented from taking office. To summarize:
Mr. Abdic was the winner of the first free and democratic Presidential elections in BiH that were held in 1990, defeating his opponents, including eventual president Alija Izetbegovic, by a margin of 200,000 votes.
Fikret Abdic was prevented from taking over official responsibilities. The ruling Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and its leader, the radical Islamist Alija Izetbegovic, engineered Izetbegovic’s ascension to the Bosnian Presidency.
Remaining as one of the members of the Presidency of BiH, Mr. Abdic used his influence and political acumen to try to prevent the war and preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina as a multiethnic country with all three of its constitutive nations, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats.
During the war he saved hundreds of thousand lives and helped to prevent collateral damage in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Fikret Abdic resolutely protested the creation of an Islamic state in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as was attempted by Alija Izetbegovic and his Party of Democratic Action (SDA).
Fikret Abdic openly opposed the import of Islamic fundamentalism and associated terrorist groups to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In accordance with this goal, he warned the world about the potential consequences of these policies permissive of terrorism in BiH.
Fikret Abdic dutifully warned international actors and organizations involved in diplomatic events during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Peter Galbraith, then U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Croatia, about the danger that the creation of the terrorist centers in BiH would eventually pose to the world, centers now contributing to the current climate of global terrorism.
The Islamic religious authorities in Bihac region issued a fatwa against Fikret Abdic and all his followers in 1993 in which it was stated that:
Mr. Abdic and his followers were to be held as enemies of the state and as such denied all their political, religious and human rights.
The strength of the 5th Corp. of the BiH Army was to be used to enforce the political whims of the SDA, forcing tens of thousands of Abdic’s Bosnian followers to flee to United States, Canada, or other European countries.
Fikret Abdic was later targeted for assassination while residing in the Republic of Croatia during 1996:
The planning for the Abdic Assassination was prepared by official elements of the Bosnian government at that time and the high ranking members of the ruling Party of Democratic Action led by Alija Izetbegovic. Perpetrators are being tried in Bosnia and Herzegovina just these days.
Some of Abdic’s Assassination plan’s perpetrators were charged and convicted during legal proceedings in Republic of Croatia.
Fikret Abdic, as a Bosnian Muslim, was subsequently indicted and prosecuted in 2001-2005 trial on the basis of unsubstantiated “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” committed against the Muslim population in Western Bosnia.
This indictment was falsified under the political eye and influence of then BiH President Alija Izetbegovic and the influence of his radical Islamic Party of Democratic Action (SDA).
The indictment’s goal was the eventual removal of Fikret Abdic from the political, economic, and public life of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These events can be described as unadulterated political persecution.
The persecution was conducted in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of an unjustified and illegal indictment announced from Bosnia.
His legal rights to defense were not satisfied. Mr. Abdic was unjustifiably sentenced to 15 years in prison on false charges.
Mr. Abdic never committed war crimes - or any crimes - against humanity. He is currently a political prisoner and is imprisoned in Croatia.
Fikret Abdic is a proponent of democracy, human rights, and the free exchange of goods and ideas. Mr. Abdic is a proven opponent of international terrorism and a friend to the United States of America and all people of good will.
The American Bosnian Association, its membership, and the signers of The Abdic Petition request that the Congress of the United States of America and President George W. Bush utilize their influence and resources to convince the Republic of Croatia to retry Fikret Abdic in a new and unbiased proceeding. It is our hope that this trial will be internationally observed and will abide by all applicable international laws and those of the Republic of Croatia.
National Board of Directors of the American Bosnian Association