Đoko Stevanović

Đoko Stevanović was born in the village of Gornje Dubravice in Brčko municipality in 1958. When Yugoslavia began to disintegrate he was working in Slovenia but he was pressured by Slovenian politics to return to his home town, as were hundreds of other workers from all parts of Yugoslavia. He came back to Gornje Dubravice where his wife and two children lived and became president of the local chapter of the Serbian Democratic Party. He was murdered in the Luka camp in 1992.

The Duško Kondor Award for Civil Courage is being given to Đoko Stevanović of Brčko posthumously, because, fully cognizant of the risk he was undertaking, he sacrificed his life, thereby demonstrating civil courage with the following:

• He called for peace between his and the neighboring villages, one of which was Bosniak (Šatorovići) and the other, Croatian (Donje Dubravice);

• He helped people of other ethnicities traverse the territory controlled by the Serbian army and police;

• He acquiesced to a request from Smail Ribić, who was secretary of the Party for Democratic Action in Brčko municipality to help him cross the border so that he could re-join his family who had fled abroad;

• He decided to stay with Smail Ribić to the end. When the police stopped them they demanded that Smail go with them but they would have let Đoko go home;

• Because he helped his friend he was taken with Smail to Luka camp where he was first tortured and then murdered. Smail was murdered right after him;

• He gave his life for his principles, despite the fact that he was leaving a wife and two young children behind;

• With his decision he was sending a message to everyone that death is preferable to a life ruled by fascism.

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