The IFIMES International Institute from Ljubljana, Slovenia, has been monitoring and analysing the situation in the regions of the Balkans and the Middle East for several years. In its analyses it has been pointing to various forms of organised crime, corruption, unpunished war crimes, violation of human rights, minority position and difficult economic situation as well as an extremely destructive influence exerted by certain political parties and individuals on the development of democratic processes, especially by the nationalist parties in BiH (SDS – Serbian Democratic Party, SDA – Party of Democratic Action and HDZ – Croatian Democratic Union).

Dissatisfaction with the opinions presented by the IFIMES International Institute in its analyses and studies has been manifested through various forms of physical threats and pressures on the prominent members of the Institute, which has culminated in a recent lawsuit against the IFIMES International Institute announced by the Chairman of the BiH Presidency Sulejman Tihić.

Following the publication of the analysis entitled "WHO DOES THE GERMAN CDU-SCU HELP IN BiH?" on 6 September 2006 we received a telephone call on the same date at 15.32 hours from Tihić's office (telephone number: ++ 387 33 664 941) and a female voice told us - in an uncivilised manner which we do not wish to describe in this press release - among other that Sulejman Tihić would bring a suit against us and that everything stated in our analysis was untrue.

The announced lawsuit is related to the above mentioned analysis in which it was stated that Sulejman Tihić asked the German Christian democrats (CDU-CSU), i.e. a lobbying firm from Berlin which is close to the right-oriented political circles, to help him in the election campaign. It is interesting that the German CDU-CSU has not expressed its position on the announced information but remained "wisely quiet" instead. The action included two top experts on election campaigns who work for the right political parties in Europe, which is not a controversial fact in itself. However, the controversial and probably also unlawful fact was that behind the activities of the two experts, know especially for leading dirty election campaigns, was the intention to enable the German energy companies to enter freely the BiH market. Chairman of the BiH Presidency Sulejman Tihić thus made a visit to Berlin on 7 September 2006.

Sulejman Tihić has realised that he is loosing the elections and that his political career is coming to an end. However, this is not to be blamed on IFIMES but on his politics which was finally defeated on 26 April 2006 when the constitutional amendments proposed by him and his partners were not voted through. Any responsible politician in the democratic societies would, unlike Tihić, submit resignation if his/her proposed constitutional amendments were not voted through, which shows best what kind of politician Tihić is. His losing position was confirmed by the research carried out not only by IFIMES but also by both American institutes present in BiH which showed that the new members of the BiH Presidency were Nebojša Radmanović and Haris Silajdžić while it was still uncertain who would represent the Croats in this body.

A lot could be said and written about Tihić, but this time we will only mention his scandalous and undiplomatic behaviour during his last visit to Quatar on account of the taxpayers' money and to the detriment of the reputation of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The public in BiH has the right to know what was going on during an official visit of their leader in another state, how he/she was accepted, where he/she was accommodated etc.

By announcing a lawsuit against IFIMES Sulejman Tihić has confirmed all our previous analyses and estimations which pointed to a close connection between SDA and SDS according to the "system of linked vessels" and thus joined the SDS vice-president Mladen Bosić from Brčko who filed a lawsuit against IFIMES (July 2005) for an analysis which uncovered the financing of a network of the Hague defendants. The fact is that Bosić had never before publicly denied our writings. The judicial process initiated by Bosić is still ongoing at the Basic Court of the Brčko District where the judge is a friend of Bosić's while the president of the Court of Appeal of the Brčko District is Damjan Kaurinović who was the military prosecutor of the Republic of Srpska competent for Srebrenica when the war crimes in Srebrenica were committed. From the above stated it is clear what type of persons the IFIMES International Institute has to "deal with " in its analyses. Sulejman Tihić has thus obviously joined the camp of Mladen Bosić and SDS.

The IFIMES International Institute is condemning all attempts of preventing the freedom of speech and is expressing an open concern for the personal safety of the members of the Institute, their families, contributors and the leadership of IFIMES.

The International Institute IFIMES would not be particularly concerned about the various forms of threats and pressures including the lawsuits, but due to the recent assassination attempt on the member of the IFIMES International Institute and the Iraqi government Mithal Al-Alusi on the 8 of February 2005 in Baghdad in which both of his sons were killed and which occurred after his historical official visit to Israel in September 2004 organised by the IFIMES International Institute, we are much more concerned about the situation.

With its activities the International Institute IFIMES has tried, and will try also in the future, to influence the public opinion with its critical approach towards the social reality with a goal to confront and eradicate the negative social phenomena, especially in the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Obviously, this approach has disturbed some of the politicians and political circles in BiH such as Tihić and Bosić who have never paid much attention to the position of the public in carrying out their politics. They have used various forms of pressure including physical threats and abusing the institution of power in which they have been represented for years to prevent the public from knowing the truth about the events and the leading public figures in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Moreover, IFIMES spoke openly of the main 'stoppers' of such processes, who in BiH are primarily located within the nationalist parties which do not wish to comprehend the necessity and the advantages of the Euro-Atlantic integration processes that should enable BiH to gain a membership in EU and NATO as soon as possible.

We regard the latest threats against the IFIMES International Institute which include also the announced lawsuit as an attempt to attack IFIMES in order to prevent its further activities, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In its analyses the IFIMES International Institute has dealt with and will be dealing with the social processes and public personalities who participate in those processes and will continue to warn of their damaging activities and the negative influence of their politics on the citizens of BiH and on the development of democracy in the society of BiH.

Despite the physical attacks, threats, lawsuits and extortions the IFIMES International Institute will not cease to be an objective and critical analyst of current developments and the situation in the region. We shall continue to inform the Bosnian-Herzegovinian and the international public, including the most influential states in the world. People like Tihić and Bosić will not prevent us in our goals. We will not call back our staff from Bosnia and Herzegovina but even increase their presence in that country.

Ljubljana, 17 September 2006