Activists Prevented in the Attempt to Put Up Protest Banner at the Rowing Regatta on Neretva15. August 2012 - 10:57 — Dejan Georgievski
Civic initiative „Save the Neretva Valley“ used the opportunity offered by this year’s “Ladja Marathon” (a regatta of traditional boats used in the delta of Neretva – ladja), held last Sunday, August 12, to raise the public awareness about the problem of Upper Horizons (Gornji Horizonti) energy project with a banner “Save the Neretva Valley – Down with the Upper Horizons” on the bridge on Neretva in Metković.
When four activists of the initiative, one man and three girls, tried to put up the same banner on the Rogotinski bridge to wait for the arrival of president Josipović and other political leaders who followed the regatta in a boat, they were prevented by the Police which prevented them from reaching the bridge.
The initiative notes that its activists were told that all traffic on the bridge will be blocked, which never happened, adding that it was obvious that the real intent was to silence all those who fight to expose the truth about Upper Horizons and Dubrovnik 2 power dam projects.
The initiative came forward with a public statement on August 14, in which it accused the Croatian Television (HRT) of censorship of their activities, presenting the example of the banner in Metković.
"Not one news programme aired by HRT, in the coverage dedicated to Ladja Marathon, mentioned a single word or aired footage with the banner, which was evidently visible to everybody else but the cameramen of the Croatian TV. Interestingly enough, HTV’s Studio in Metković also ignored the magnificent protests on central municipal square that gathered more than 1000 people on July 22, the biggest public gathering in the town since the war, organized by the initiative”, states the public statement issued by the Initiative Save the Neretva Valley.
The initiative claims that similar treatment was given the debate in Opuzen, held on Autust 8, in which all speakers were unanimous that the Upper Horizons project will leave southern Herzegovina and the Neretva valley without water, a fact that will have catastrophic long-term effects on local agriculture, the main economic activity of the local population. They add that HRT did send a camera crew to the debate, but the material they recorded was never aired.
The disputed mega project Upper Horizons, implemented by the Republic of Srpska (BiH) Power Utility Company, proposes the construction of three new power dams - Nevesinje, Dabar i Bileća, and the plan also proposes redirecting the waters from the basin of Neretva to the basin of Trebišnjica river, to secure sufficient quantities of water to fill in the proposed power dams. (Source: Abrašmedia/H-alter.org)
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