Serb Civic Council

Awarded 1995

Bosnia and Herzegovina

For maintaining their support for a humane, multi-ethnic, democratic Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Serb Civic Council (SCC) was a non-governmental organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina working to achieve peace by political means. It aimed to safeguard a united and multi-cultural society, assist with the observance of parliamentary democracy, and work towards respect for human rights and ethnic equality.

The organisation was created in March 1994 by eminent Serbs living in Bosnia who were loyal to the multi-ethnic democratic Bosnian government and rejected “the Pale regime” of Radovan Karadzic. SCC grew to about 50,000 members, including about one-third of all Bosnian Serbs living in areas still controlled by the Bosnian government at the time of the Dayton Peace Accord, being organised through 20 offices in towns in those areas.

The organisation sought to achieve peace under the principles of preserving a democratic, internationally recognised and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina; the equality of all citizens; the right of all displaced and expelled citizens to return to their homes; and the punishment of all war criminals.

Because of their activism, members of the SCC were specifically targeted for assassination.

The Serb Civic Council will persevere on the path of struggle for democracy and human rights.

Serb Civil Council, 1995 Laureate

Fighting for a multi-ethnic democracy

The Serb Civic Council (SCC) was created in March 1994 by eminent Serbs living in Bosnia who were loyal to the multi-ethnic democratic Bosnian government and rejected "the Pale regime" of Radovan Karadzic. SCC grew to about 50,000 members, encompassing about one-third of all Bosnian Serbs living in areas still controlled by the Bosnian government at the time of the Dayton Peace Accord, being organised through 20 offices in towns in those areas.

At its founding, SCC adopted a Declaration of Peace with four aims: achieving peace by political means, safeguarding a united and multi-cultural Bosnia and Herzegovina, observance of parliamentary democracy, and respect for human rights. SCC cultivated links with exiled Bosnians abroad and with democratic parties opposing Milosevic in Belgrade, as well as with opposition leaders from the areas controlled by Karadzic. Such leaders have faced threats to their lives, while members of the SCC have been specifically targeted for assassination by snipers.

SCC set out its plans for peace in accordance with the following principles:

1. preservation of a democratic, internationally recognised and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH);
2. equality of all the citizens of BH, with full guarantee of civic freedoms and human rights in line with the highest international standards;
3. full implementation of the right of all displaced and expelled citizens to return to their homes;
4. punishment of all war criminals.

Some of the leaders of SCC were:

Mirko Pejanovic, born 1946 in the district of Tuzla, President of the SCC; also a member of the Bosnian Presidency and former professor at Sarajevo University;

Ljubo Berberovic, Vice-President, SCC; Professor of Plant Genetics and Member of the Academy of Sciences;

Rajko Zivkovic, Vice-President, SCC; journalist with the daily Oslobodjenje in Sarajevo and commercial manager of Onasa news agency;

Zarko Bulic, Vice-President, SCC; lawyer and President of the BH Bar Association.

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