News 07 Feb 13

Belgrade to Name Street After Wartime ‘Hero’

The city authorities have backed a campaign to honour a young Serb who won respect across the region when he died while saving his Bosniak friend’s life during the war.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade
 Srdjan Aleksic, who lost his life during the war while saving his Bosniak friend, Alen Glavovic

Campaigners launched an online petition asking the authorities to name one of the capital’s streets after Srdjan Aleksic, who lost his life 20 years ago defending his Bosniak (Muslim) friend, Alen Glavovic from an attack by soldiers.

“He is already an informal hero in the region, but we should honour him here, in the capital,” said Suzana Milosavljevic, who initiated the petition.

Belgrade’s city authorities say that they support the idea to name a street after Aleksic, but want the petitioners to file an official request to the commission that regulates memorials and street names.

Aleksic was killed in 1993 in the Bosnian town of Trebinje, at the height of the war, after a gang of Bosnian Serb soldiers who had been combing through traders and shoppers in the market, looking for Muslims, had found Glavovic and started beating him.

Aleksic came to his friend’s aid but four soldiers turned on him and beat to death with rifle butts. He fell into a coma and died on January 27, 1993. 

One of the four attackers was killed during the war, while the remaining three were sentenced to two years and six months in prison each.

The story of Aleksic’s wartime stand, at a point when Serbs and Bosniaks were enemies, spread right across the former Yugoslavia.  Several towns in Bosnia and Serbia have paid homage to Aleksic by naming streets and squares after him.

A plaque on a street in Sarajevo that is named after Aleksic reads: “Without people like Srdjan Aleksic and his heroic deeds, one would lose hope in humanity, and without it our life would have no meaning.”

 

 

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