Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — on Saturday. Bosnian authorities have demolished the Serbian Orthodox Church. which was built illegally on the land of a Bosnian woman The move comes after a 20-year legal battle that has seen the case reach European courts. human rights.
Construction workers and machinery arrived in the courtyard of Fata Orlovich in Konjevic Polje village early Saturday. They used cranes to bring down the white church and the bell tower.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in October 2019 that authorities must remove the church and indemn the Orlovic family totaling 31,000 euros ($36,500).
The church was built shortly after Orlovic and her family were expelled from the village 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Most of them are Muslims and the village was occupied by the Bosnian Serbs. Most of them are Orthodox Christians.
“Thank God we finally saw this happen,” said Orlovich, in her late 70s. “I’m tired after 20 years.”
“Finally, now I can sit down and have a cup of coffee in my garden without getting fired. I have never done anything wrong with them,” she added.
Orlovic’s husband was one of about 8,000 Bosnian men and boys killed by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995, the largest massacre in the conflict. The Srebrenica Massacre is universally recognized as Europe’s only genocide since World War II.
Returning to her village after the war Orlovich also ignored Orlovich’s demands to move the church away. In 2000, she began a legal process to enforce the authorities of Republika Srpska, the name of the agency governed by Sir. Bia after the war in Bosnia to follow.
Orlovic’s lawyer, Rusmir Karkin, told Bosnian media he expected the debris to be removed from Orlovic’s territory quickly.
“A lot of people are working and the weather is good. So I expect everything will be over tomorrow,” he said.
Local officials said they would rebuild an Orthodox church at the entrance to the village.
Bosnia remained deeply ethnically divided long after the war ended in 1995 in a US-brokered peace deal. More than 100,000 people have died in the conflict. and millions of people had to flee their homes.