Suspects arrested for damaging headstones in Muslim cemetery

The police in Novi Pazar, a town in southwestern Serbia, have two men under arrest on suspicion that they recently damaged headstones in a Muslim cemetery.

Source: Tanjug
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

They pair are suspected of committing the criminal offense of violating graves by desecrating 34 headstones in the Gazilar graveyard on July 5.

The police administration (PU) in this town said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that the suspects were arrested in the Tutin municipality, and identified them with their initials and year of birth as M.Dz. (1952) and S.B. (1984). They are currently held in police custody that can last up to 48 hours.

Tanjug said it learned from the police in Novi Pazar that one of the suspects was Mehdija Dzemic, "who converted to Orthodoxy (from Islam) while he served time in prison for wounding a man."

The agency said that during the night when the headstones were damaged, the two suspects were also seen in the Rekic restaurant in Novi Pazar, where they were "cursing the khwaja (Muslim cleric) and muezzin from Svojbor (a street in Novi Pazar)."

The town's mayor, Nihat Bisevac, said he was pleased with the way the police reacted and "solved the case within a short period of time," describing their work as "serious and professional."

"We expect the prosecution and the court to act justly and punish the perpetrators adequately, so that such a heinous vandal act is never repeated," Bisevac said, adding that the incident had left Novi Pazar residents incredulous, "because such things never happened before, not even in the most difficult moments, during the war in Bosnia."

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