Press Conference: Lawsuit by Residents of Bistrica against Concessionaire, City of Prijedor, and Republic of Srpska

Photo: Igor Kalaba

A press conference was held at the Center for Environment regarding the lawsuit filed by residents of Bistrica Local Community against the concessionaire, the City of Prijedor, and the Republic of Srpska concerning activities related to the opening of a lignite coal mine in their local community.

This lawsuit is unique as it involves a group of residents from an affected local community filing a lawsuit due to the unlawful allocation and harmful implementation of the disputed concession against the concessionaire, the city, and one of the entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The lawsuit was filed to mitigate the risk of harm, determine the violation of personal rights, and seek compensation for the non-material damages suffered by residents. More details about the entire case were presented by the following speakers:

  • Redžib Skomorac, Legal Advisor, Center for Environment
  • Dragana Stanković, Lawyer, Representative of Residents
  • Zoran Ninić, Plaintiff, Resident of Bistrica
  • Radmila Zrnić, Resident of Bistrica

As a reminder, the company “Drvo-Export” d.o.o. from Teslić submitted a self-initiated bid for the concession during 2023. Since the beginning, residents have strongly opposed this initiative, as they do not want coal mining near their homes and properties due to concerns about the health consequences, general environmental quality, and enjoyment of basic human rights.

Throughout 2023, protests were continuously organised against the opening of the mine, and all legal means were utilized, but public appeals and initiated procedures failed to halt the concession’s implementation, which has been accompanied by numerous unlawful activities. This has led to the filing of this lawsuit.