Rašid Palić

Rašid Palić was born in 1957 in Jablanica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and he lives in Sarajevo with his wife and three children. He earned his degree from the Department for National Defense at the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo in 1982. He held a number of managerial positions within the police hierarchy. In 2003 he joined the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), where he served in several functions. Ten years later he was fired in an staged procedure. He was returned to SIPA through a decision of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2014 and he continues to suffer there from workplace harrasment.

The Duško Kondor Award for Civil Courage is being given to Rašid Palić of Sarajevo, because, fully cognizant of the risk he was undertaking, he demonstrated civil courage with the following:

• He accomplished a great deal in preventing and exposing all forms of criminal activity for which he has been commended and awarded on numerous occasions;

• His conscientious and succesful efforts brought him in conflict with his superiors, particularly the directors of SIPA, some of whom have ties to the criminal element in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region;

• For persisting in collecting information on individual and mass graves from the past war, among which is the Radača pit near Mostar, a mass grave which may hold as many as several hundred victims, of which only four victims have been exhumed and identified;

• For persisting in discovering and processing crimes within the authority of SIPA he has been subjected to harassment and a campaign in which he was first suspended and then fired;

• Despite the adversity he has faced he never lost faith in the institutions of the system and has fought for justice through the courts;

• He has continued his fight against injustice by speaking out in public and after three years he finally received the judgment of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina which vindicated him and returned him to his post, where he continues to be subjected to constant harassment;

• He has persisted in seeking an answer to a question he has voiced in public about his past and present director: "How could a person who was documented as the subject of SIPA operative investigations, known for his amorality, obstruction, and harassment, be named as head of that same agency?"

• Although he and his entire family have suffered for years from the devastating consequences of harassment at SIPA, he has not flinched from his fight for justice and truth, and has become a symbol of resistance to the abuse of power and authority.

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