Housing conditions lead to death of Romani baby in Sarajevo

15 August 2001

A three-month-old girl, Mejra Mujić, died of pneumonia due to cold caused by poor living conditions, on January 29, 2001, in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, according to the local daily newspaper Dnevni avaz on January 31, 2001. The autopsy, conducted at the request of the investigating judge of the Sarajevo Cantonal Court, established that the cause of the baby's death was severe pneumonia. The baby's family are displaced Roma from the area of Doboj, northern Bosnia. They reportedly fled to Sarajevo during the Bosnian war, and have lived there ever since, in an abandoned high-rise apartment building that was badly damaged during the war. According to the newspaper report, all of the window-panes in the building are broken. Along with around sixty other displaced Roma, the Mujić family lives without electricity or heating. The Roma interviewed in the article feared that more children would fall victim to disease due to the cold. The Sarajevo-based Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported on February 15, 2001, that the Bosnian authorities have provided no assistance to the Roma displaced by the war.

(Dnevni avaz, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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